Watford City Police Department Launches Anonymous Tip App

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A local law enforcement agency is empowering residents with a resource to help report criminal activity.

There is a lot of buzz around Watford City. As the city grows, the local law enforcement is receiving a helping hand from the locals.

"It has been very successful around the country, a lots of agencies have gone to it," said Watford City Police Chief Art Walgren.

Earlier this month, the Watford City Police Department launched a new "Text to Tip" app. The feature will allow community members to anonymously report criminal or suspicious activity.

"We have a community coalition against underage drinking. They were really the key in this thing because they had funding available to help pay for the program," Walgren said.

The McKenzie County Sheriff's Office will also participate in the program. Some features that appeal to police officers include missing person and safety alerts, as well as a crime map to spot possible trends.

"I can see where it can come into use," said Dominic Ferrari, Watford City resident.

Ferrari says he's excited about the alert feature that comes with the program.

"There are so many times where you don't realize what is happening. To be able to get that alert on your phone is very beneficial," Ferrari said.

There are many advantages the program provides, but one thing it may not provide is immediate response. Walgren says if the incident is in progress, call 911 instead.

The department hopes this program will help improve the overall communication with the community.

"Give them some outreach, so they feel they have that voice even when they don't want their name involved," Walgren said.

The department looks to continue the fight against crime with the help of a few 21st century gadgets.

The app is available through iTunes and Google Play. Just enter "WCPDTip." If you don't want the app, you can text Watford City Police and a message to TIP411.