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Local News

Metra launches app to report safety, security concerns

Commuters await the arrival of the last morning train bound for Union Station on Friday, July 11, 2014 at the Lockport Metra station  in Chicago on the Heritage Corridor line .
Commuters await the arrival of the last morning train bound for Union Station on Friday, July 11, 2014 at the Lockport Metra station in Chicago on the Heritage Corridor line .

Metra has launched a free app so customers can quickly and discreetly report crimes, suspicious activity and other safety and security concerns to Metra police from a train or station.

The app, called Metra COPS, is available for Apple users in the App Store or Android users in Google Play, according to a news release.

“This new channel of communication helps us enhance the safety and security of our entire system,” Metra Police Chief Joseph Perez said. “We always ask our customers and employees to remain vigilant and to say something if they see something. Using this app can be a more convenient way to do that than making a phone call.”

The app is meant for the reporting of safety and security issues on Metra trains and in Metra facilities, such as a crime in progress, disruptive or aggressive behavior, suspicious activity, unattended bags or packages, vandalism, panhandling, fare evasion or other concerns.

Customers are asked not to use the app for customer service issues, service disruptions or travel information.

Customers can send a description along with a photo or video of the issue being reported.

The app automatically disables the user’s smartphone flash to ensure discretion, and reports can be made anonymously. There also is an option to allow users to remain anonymous.

Metra police dispatchers can respond to the customer through the app, send out advisories and broadcast “Be on the Lookout” alerts to app users.

Notices submitted through the app will be monitored at all times, according to Metra’s website.

Customers also can report safety and security concerns to Metra police at 312-322-2800 or text a tip to 312-313-9015.

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