Feb 5, 2013
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CLEVELAND - Closewatch RTA is a free app that allows customers of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) to communicate with Transit Police anonymously. The app is available on iPhone and Android.

Closewatch.tips -- A tool for greater safety and security

This helps customers assist RTA in safety and security matters throughout the rail and bus system.

Customers can send texts, e-mails, photos and video. Don't have a smartphone? Call or text the non-urgent Transit Police line, 216-575-3937. Police will follow up on any tips as quickly as possible.

Check out details at www.closewatch.tips.

"Adding an anonymous reporting system encourages people to send tips," said Transit Police Chief John Joyce. "Adding Closewatch RTA expands our reach, in addition to the presence of officers on the buses, trains, at stations and on the streets, it is an extremely important tool and a great benefit to our customers. "

Use it wisely

RTA encourages customers to use this new smartphone app wisely: texting, calling or sending in photos, videos and tips on non-urgent areas of concern. The Closewatch system -- in use in various police departments, schools and transit systems around the country -- works most effectively when customers only use it to report police matters, Chief Joyce said.

RTA believes this app will help customers be additional eyes and ears on RTA vehicles and at stations, Chief Joyce said.

An added service

This new service is in addition to existing RTA security and safety measures. This adds methods to report concerns: When You See Something, Say Something .

Customers who witness a crime or have a security concern in emergencies can always:

  •     Call 9-1-1.
  •     Call Transit Police Dispatch 24/7, at 216-566-5163

Need customer service?

RTA customers who have questions about bus and train arrivals, route planning or other non-police matter comments, should continue to call customer service staff at the RTAnswerline, 216-621-9500.

Background

The app and system were created to specifically assist police agencies and enhance their technology to assist the public. The start-up costs for RTA were approximately $5,000, which came from a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant, along with monthly service fees. This app enhances RTA's effort to assist DHS in terrorism prevention. The system was formerly known as iWatchRTA.

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