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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) — Scottsboro Police is launching a new avenue to help fight crime and the residents have a big hand in the process.

The department is introducing an app that provides a direct and fast link from the community to officers. “It allows the community residents to send us tips confidentially,” Scottsboro Police Chief Ralph Dawe says.

The tip411 application allows residents to engage with the police department from the palm of their hand via their smart phone or from a computer.

It’s free and is funded using illicit drug money seized by the department. The tips will be sent to the Scottsboro Police Department anonymously, removing any of the sender’s identifying information from the message.

Chief Dawe says the app allows officers to receive, review and respond to tips from the community quickly. It also has the capability of sending out important information to the public when emergency events occur.

Officers can also respond to the sender with questions about a tip. For example, if a sender provides information about a drunk driver on the road, the officer can respond back, asking for that sender to get the tag information. “It’s a two-way communication real-time,” Chief Dawe explains.

The department has the tip feature on its website. “We just designed a new website, it is on our website, you can process tips there,” Chief Dawe says.

This system is not designed to take the place of an actual emergency 911 call.

You can download the free “tipspd” app for iPhone, and soon to be Android devices.

“We’ve always, always said that the public is our best resource when it comes to fighting crime,” Chief Dawe says.