The retired lieutenant and current chief at Lockport Police Department recently purchased a new “app” for the department, called STOPit, that allows anyone with a computer or phone to send LPD anonymous messages, photos and videos of suspicious things they see in their neighborhood. The app can be downloaded free of charge.
“We’ve had a lot of public meetings recently out in the parks and a lot of times what you see and hear from a lot of people is they want to be involved, but they don’t want to be involved,” Abbott said. “What I mean is, they don’t want their name involved or they don’t want to give a statement and that really is a hindrance to us.
“It should be a partnership with the community and residents because it’s all about safety and quality of life. I’m looking for anything and everything that can help us interact with the public better, do our jobs safer and do our jobs with the least amount of force.”
Abbott said the app came to his attention about a month ago, though in a different form, as a “Stop Bullying” app for schools.
“I saw that and said to myself, ‘Wow, that really has some law enforcement applications,’ so I reached out to the company, which is based in New Jersey, and the gentleman I spoke with said, ‘We’re getting a lot of calls from law enforcement.’”
Abbott said he played around with the computer software application and found it a worthy investment, especially since the $3,000 cost could come directly out of LPD’s budget.
“I had it for a week and I then made the decision to pilot the program for a year and if it works out, we’ll put it in the budget next year and we’ll keep going with it,” Abbott said.