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Imagine that you see an illegally parked vehicle on your street. What do you do? You could dial 911, but the situation doesn’t seem like an emergency. Do nothing, however, and you’re just allowing the bad behavior to continue. The sci-Shot App is a new tool designed to confront these very situations. Billed by its designers as a step below dialing 911, and a significant step above doing nothing, the app allows simple two-way communication between citizens and law enforcement authorities.

How Does the sci-Shot App Work?

The sci-Shot App has a unique user interface, allowing instant and anonymous non-emergency communication with public safety officials. If you see something you’d like to report—a broken window, perhaps, or a suspicious vehicle—you simply snap a photo or take a quick video and upload it to a private gallery. A geolocation feature will pinpoint the exact location of the incident, and you can even insert comments about why you think the item in question requires law enforcement attention.

It is the app’s additional features that make it a true two-way communication tool. You can opt-in to safety alerts and be among the first to know when a crime or suspicious incident has been reported in your area. You can also view anonymous public safety observations by other users in a searchable map. Police can clue you in on ongoing investigations, offering you a way to verify if an incident you reported is receiving proper attention.

Can Others See My Reports?

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People reporting tips to the authorities often fear reprisal or intimidation. The sci-Shot App solves this problem by offering you the option to place tips anonymously. All data is encrypted and protected to the highest privacy standards. Best of all, you can make anonymous tips in complete silence. To all standing nearby, it would appear like you are merely thumbing through your smartphone.

Are There Incentives for Reporting Incidents?

Beyond improving the safety of your neighborhood, you may qualify for additional rewards by using the sci-Shot App. If law enforcement authorities use your picture or video in an investigation, for example, you may be rewarded with a gift card of up to $50. Visual evidence used in felony investigations can qualify you for even bigger rewards of up to $3,000 through participating organizations.

If you’re motivated more by altruism than financial gain, future versions of the app will allow you to instantly donate rewards to a range of charity organizations.

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Where Can I Find the App?

The sci-Shot App works on iOs and Android devices, and is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Apps like sci-Shot stand to break down long-standing barriers between law enforcement officers and the citizens they protect. With time, we may find that they make us safer, more confident in law enforcement, and more likely to pick up the phone if we see something suspicious.

This is an example of one great app to help you with home security, but there are several others available for both iOS and Android devices. Check out some of the best mobile apps for home security systems and find the best one to help you protect your home wherever you are.

Written by Clair Jones

Clair Jones is a journalist, marketer and tech junkie who loves to write about technology business trends, digital commerce, career tips and office politics from the perspective of a millennial female. Learn more

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