In an effort to improve security on campus, the Dept. of Public Safety plans to unveil a new smart phone application Saturday for reporting anonymous tips about disorderly conduct or crimes.
TipSubmit is specifically intended for use during football games and will be unveiled before the first football game of the year, DPS Capt. David Carlisle said. It is only available for Android phones and iPhones.
Carlisle said it will be easier to use than the current anonymous tip service, Trojans Care 4 Trojans, which allows students to call or text both a communications center that forwards messages to relevant organizations in the USC community.
The new app also serves thousands of communities, universities and law enforcement agencies around the country, including the University of California San Diego, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Opisbo and Los Angeles City College.
The new app will allow users to contact DPS directly with information. It is formatted so users can also see if an incident has already been reported to DPS.
“We think the easier we make it, the more people will use it,” Carlisle said. “It is more likely people will use [the new system].”
Some students said taking pictures of someone might look strange.
“It may look kind of suspicious if you start taking pictures of an incident,” said Kevin Koeller, a freshman majoring in business administration. “Plus it might make things worse if someone sees you taking pictures of them.”
Several students also said they believed having this smart phone application would allow more incidents to be reported.
“Our generation is very hands-on and connected,” said Dani Haberman, a sophomore majoring in theatre. “[Having the app] at your fingertips will incline more people to report incidents.”
The app eliminates the need to use the current anonymous tip service through text messages or by telephone, which many students do not utilize.
“More people will use the app, because it seems like it will be very fast and easy,” said Monroe Ekilah, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering and computer science. “I haven’t sent in an anonymous tip because I don’t know the number [for Trojans Care 4 Trojans].”
The photo feature on the app will instantly provide DPS with photographical evidence for neutralizing incidents.
“[I believe] the ability to submit photographs will be helpful for DPS,” said Karina Garcia, a senior majoring in Spanish. “[It] will allow DPS to know about the incident beforehand and how [they should] handle it.”
TipSubmit is available for free download on application markets.