NN police hope residents will use new technology to help curb crime

The P3 Tips app

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Following multiple shootings this week in Newport News and the city’s third homicide of the year, officers are continuing to ask for the public’s help to solve crimes.

Residents can call the Crime Line anonymously at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP, or an even easier way, according to officers.

“It’s a digital world. With everyone on Facebook, Instagram, anything on the computer, we have to keep up with the game, and P3 tips has done that,” said Newport News Master Police Officer Brandon Maynard.

Maynard says the department has been using P3 Tips, the website, and phone app for about a month.

It allows users to anonymously submit information to local law enforcement agencies.

Maynard hopes residents will take advantage of it so officers can close cases and bring closure to families.

“A lot of people know. They know a lot about the crimes out here and if you don’t want to come straight forward to the police, use this app,” he said.

Maynard says the app also makes it easy for them to share information about crimes like homicides, robberies,and school threats, with other agencies that use the app.

“If we get tips that are in other jurisdictions, they accidentally send it to us, we can send that same tip to the proper jurisdiction,” he said.

Newport News is just one of a few others in the area that are using it.

The Portsmouth Police Department started using it in August of 2017.

Detective Misty Holley says they saw a 30 to 35 percent increase in tips since switching over.

Maynard says officers are always working to build up trust in the community by having officers getting out and walking in neighborhoods.

The department also has events like ‘Coffee with a Cop’ and ‘Chief on the Go’ but Maynard says building that relationship is a two-way street.

He hopes residents, who are sick of the violence, will use this to usher in change.

“We can talk all day long, but actions is what people want to see. Not talk, but actions. It’s not just for here but everywhere else violence is occurring,” he said.

You can submit tips anonymously at p3tips.com or download the app from the app store on your phone device.

Officers say if your information leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.