Old Bridge residents can file reports using app

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OLD BRIDGE — See it, say it and report it.

In an effort to reduce unnecessary 911 calls, the township is rolling out Report It, an independent, third party anonymous hotline service. Public testing began on Feb. 1, which will continue during the next few months.

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“This is an easier way for citizens to report issues that arise, such as potholes,” Himanshu Shah, director of Finance and chief financial officer for the township, said during the Jan. 22 Township Council meeting.

Shah said township officials looked at two or three companies before settling on Report It, which he said they have found to be a very good interface smart phone mobile base where residents can report issues to the township departments with location, pictures and video.

The township will pay a flat fee of $300 per month for the service.

The reports can be sent anonymously to the departments if the resident wants to remain anonymous.

Shah said the four township departments that will mainly receive the messages include the police department, public works, parks maintenance and code enforcement.

Founded in 1999, Report It, according to its website, has extended to public and private companies, government agencies and municipalities; educational community from K-12 plus colleges and universities; and medical and financial institutions.

The Report It mobile platform has been implemented in surrounding government agencies including the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office.

Report It is a simple to use mobile platform that connects all residents, employees, business owners and visitors to township management. A report is routed in real time to appropriate departments and can be created and sent in a matter of seconds.

The mobile platform supports a number of devices including Apple, Android and iWeb mobile.

There is no download required and a report can include GPS location, time, date, picture and/or video. All reports are 100 percent confidential.

Reports can be created in any language and will be translated to English when it comes to the departments.

Issues that may be reported for the department of public works include pothole or road repair and clogged storm drain.

Issues for the police department may include suspicious or unusual activity, crime prevention tip and environmental safety reporting.

A representative from Report It said the reports to the police department through the mobile platform are about early detection and protection and should not change the understanding of an emergency.

Shah said the township has other means for residents to report emergencies, including 911.

Mayor Owen Henry said the Report It mobile platform is another tool for residents and for the township to provide a more efficient process to report issues.

Council President Mary Sohor said Report It is positive for the township.

“It will allow the township to become more engaged with residents and give them more ways to report issues to us,” she said.

Residents and the public can go to www.reportit.com or text “@obtownnj” to 63975 and select an option to install the app or report online.

Contact Kathy Chang at kchang@newspapermediagroup.com.

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