A new smartphone app developed by Brooklyn State Sen. Eric Adams will allow New Yorkers to report crimes without having to go to the police, according to a published report.
The app, which Adams unveiled Sunday, lets users take pictures of a crime in progress or make a voice recording describing a crime they witnessed and submit them anonymously, the Daily News reports.
A team of retired law enforcement volunteers will share the information users submit with police through a private Facebook page, the News said.
"It does away with the fear that people have — I don’t want to walk into a precinct. I don’t want to call the police and have them come to my house because the bad guys are going to see them," Adams, a former cop, told the News.
He insists he's not trying to dissuade people from calling police, instead he says the "Brooklyn Quality of Life" app is meant for people in high-crime neighborhoods who often harbor a deep mistrust of the police.
"We don’t want people not calling 911. We will encourage calling 911," Adams told the News. "The reality is people are afraid of the police."
Police spokesman Paul Browne told the News the public should feel free to call 911, but that "if Adams wants to help the process along, that's fine."
Others were less supportive of the new app.
"I think it’s foolish. I think people can get hurt,” Sen. Marty Golden, also a former cop, told the news. "The quickest and most effective way is to call 911."
Adams said he plans to fully brief the police on the app and hopes they will be able to use it for leads.
The app, which will also send out emergency alerts, is available as a Google or Apple app, or a mobile website, the News said.
Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Get our apps here and sign up for email newsletters here. Get breaking news delivered right to your phone -- just text NYBREAKING to 639710. For more info, text HELP. To end, text STOP. Message and data rates may apply.