Mobile phone app helps find child predators - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Mobile phone app helps find child predators

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ICE's new app allows users to share tips and receive information about wanted predators. (FOX5) ICE's new app allows users to share tips and receive information about wanted predators. (FOX5)

It's a simple app for smart phone users designed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) called "Operation Predator App."

When ICE created the app, the intention was to identify wanted child predators and allow users to report a potential crime if they hear or see something.

"To elicit the public's help in identifying child predators along with providing information on ongoing investigations as it pertains to child exploitation," said Michael Harris, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in Las Vegas.

Harris says their department is always trying to think one step ahead of a criminal. He says most fugitives are constantly on the run and this app could help someone identify a criminal and notify law enforcement quickly.

"With the application, the good thing about it is you can share with your friends, you can share with your colleagues and get the information out faster," Harris said.

This app houses a list of known child predators running from police. It also allows the user to type in the location of the crime and provide a brief description.

"We're hoping this application will elicit the public to submit information about crimes against children because they're our most vulnerable victims." Harris said.

Kimmie Osidipe is a parent of two children. She says knowing both her and her children could spot one of these predators, and potentially stop another crime from happening is a little more peace of mind.

"It does make me feel better," Osidipe said. "Just a little more comfortable anyway that I can see the information on my phone."

The app also has a list of other agencies partnering with law enforcement to find the fugitives listed through their database and users can view news on recent arrests and prosecutions of child predators. 

The app allows users to make a call or report a crime if needed. ICE officials say people can remain anonymous if they submit a tip online or call.

The ICE Tip Line is staffed 24-hours a day, 7-days a week at (866) 347-2423.

The app is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to protect children from sexual predators.

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