A new mobile app aims to educate users on how to spot suspicious activity and allows them to report security or safety hazards directly to a transit official, according to a Metro press statement released Tuesday.

The LA Metro Transit Watch mobile app is now available to download for free from the iTunes App Store. The app will also soon be available to Android users, according to the press release.

If a mobile user spots broken glass on the street or graffiti on a wall, for example, he or she can use the app to send a photo to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Transit Services Bureau, said Paul Gonzales, Metro spokesman. The bureau would then send a sheriff’s deputy or other official to the site to take care of the reported hazard, he added.

The app also allows users to directly contact a deputy sheriff or other staff member to report suspicious activity.

“This (app) allows the transit rider to carry in his or her pocket a little valuable tool that can help make the Metro system safer and more secure,” Gonzales said.

He added, however, that the app should not be used to report immediate crime or emergencies.

“This is not a substitute for 911,” Gonzales said.

The app is part of the Metro’s larger effort to increase security and safety for transit users. The effort stems from a Department of Homeland Security campaign that encourages individuals to be on the watch for terrorism-related crime, Gonzales said.


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