Chesterfield County, Va., Law Enforcement Turn to App to Fight Crime

The smartphone-based application allows residents to anonymously report crime tips to participating agencies.

by Kelsey Reichenberg, The Progress-Index / November 9, 2017
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(TNS) -- CHESTERFIELD, Va. — The Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights Police Departments recently introduced a smartphone application that allows citizens to submit crime tips safely and anonymously from their mobile devices.

The app, called P3, is a digital platform of the police department's Crime Solvers program.

Since the local Crime Solvers program began in 1984, the Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights Police Departments have adapted to new technologies to benefit the program. The mobile application, available on both iOS and Android platforms, was recently added, allowing tipsters to use a one-click process to submit anonymous tips for any jurisdiction that subscribes to the P3 app service.

The P3 application was first introduced to the community this past summer, and since then has led police to successful investigations of a high-volume of various crimes, including high-profile cases that led to arrests in both Colonial Heights and Chesterfield County.

Crime Solvers — in both its P3 application and anonymous tip line platforms — is widely used due to the fact that tipsters remain 100 percent anonymous through the whole process.

"It's important that everyone is aware that every tip that comes through the app and through the tipline is completely, 100 percent anonymous," said Chesterfield County Police Department Senior Detective Chris Rizzuti. "We have no idea where the calls, online submissions and P3 app submissions come from. There are even laws in place in the state of Virginia that protect the anonymity of Crime Solvers tipsters."

Two state laws exist to limit the disclosure of criminal records and to maintain the confidentiality of those records. These laws guarantee tipster anonymity through the entire investigative process and establish Crime Stoppers programs.

The law also states that individuals who submit anonymous tips are eligible for a cash reward if the tip leads to solving a case or catching a fugitive.

"We can keep the tipster updated on the status of the case, and let them know if they're eligible for a cash reward," said Rizzuti. "Even when receiving the cash reward, the tipster remains anonymous. We give you a code number and pass phrase, and you can go to a local business and pick up your check. No conversation is needed at all."

Police encourage community members with information about any crime to submit their tips with guaranteed anonymity by downloading the P3 mobile app, by calling the Anonymous Tipline at 804-748-0660, or by submitting a tip online at CrimeSolvers.net.

Community members can also stay updated on current wanted felons by visiting CrimeSolvers.net and following Crime Solvers on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram @CrimeSolversCHH.

©2017 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, Va. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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