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Community News: New app keeps citizens updated

Kellie Galentine
Staff Writer

The Operation Predator iPhone app was released by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to allow users to send anonymous tips and get news updates about sexual predators via mobile phone.

The app will allow users to track information and arrests involving sexual predators in an attempt to catch predators in a more efficient manner.

The Operation Predator app will also allow community members of La Verne and Claremont to keep a close eye on whats going on around them.

“I don’t think people realize just how close the predators are,” Debra Saucedo, Claremont resident, said.

“Having this app on a phone will make the information handier.”

When users open the application, there are direct prompts to submit anonymous tips of threats nearby either by phone or online.

The app features different sections like alerts, news and partners, which make information easy to find.

The alerts section of the app has thumbnail photos of wanted predators along with a description of why they are people of interest.

With the photos in hand, users would be able to pull up photos immediately if they see the predators in public and then submit a tip of their location.

Megan’s Law, in effect since 2004, requires that registered sex offenders addresses be made accessible to the public.  The Operation Predator app will be able to further assist community members in finding this and more information, which will keep their children safe.

“I think the app is worthwhile because it will keep girls safe and children safe, and it keeps students safe and aware of what is going on,” Rikki Rodriguez, La Verne resident and mother, said.

The app is free and will profile specific urgent cases so that tips can be submitted.

This iPhone app will create more direct awareness in the community about what is going on both locally and nationally.

Citizens of La Verne and Claremont will be able to feel more informed by using the Operation Predator app.

“It will make concerned parents more aware,” Saucedo said.

The only downfalls to the app are that specific cities can not be selected to do a closer look on any given neighborhood and it is not clear how often the app is updated.

“Personally my daughter is in fourth grade and she wants to walk to school, but I do not want her to because you never know what sexual predators are in the community,” said Stephanie Fincher, La Verne resident and mother of two.

Using the Operation Predator app, parents can better teach their children to be street smart and stay safe.

“Having community awareness with apps like these will help you to make important decisions,” Fincher said.

Kellie Galentine can be reached at kellie.galentine@laverne.edu.

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