Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office adopts new app for text alerts

LAFAYETTE — Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office stopped using the alert app Nixle on Wednesday afternoon and migrated to a new app, SaferWatch.

Nixle is a one-way communication app that allows agencies to alert subscribers to police-related activities, fire or weather hazards in the area.

In contrast, SaferWatch allows for two-way communication with police. Those who use the app can receive alerts, but they also send in tips, including photos, according to a news release published by Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office.

"The SaferWatch App is free to the public, and allows citizens to report suspicious activity, perceived threats, and safety concerns directly to Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office using their smartphones," the news release states. "The sheriff’s office can also send official real-time alerts directly to citizens on the application, keeping them informed and up-to-date on crucial safety advisories that impact the county or their city.

"Users have the ability to upload photos, videos, audio files and text messages directly to the app, which helps to streamline investigative timelines," according to the news release. "There is also the option to send in tips as yourself or anonymously, and even request a call back to receive follow-up for more information."

Tips are received at a 911 center, and since the app can detect a user's location, the tips are forwarded to the correct police jurisdiction.

Tippecanoe County Sheriff Bob Goldsmith said the change would happen at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

For Nixle subscribers, don't drop your subscription. Goldsmith said Lafayette, West Lafayette and Purdue police would continue using it.