DeKALB — Code enforcement and crime-free housing issues can now be anonymously reported through the city's free iWatchDeKalb smartphone application.
City officials added the categories to the iWatch app in order to streamline the process and encourage residents to help keep their neighborhoods clean and safe.
The app, which was launched in April, is designed for users to anonymously send crime tips to the DeKalb police.
Crime Free Housing Coordinator Carl Leoni said his department has wanted to give people an option to submit tips about neglected properties and poorly maintained buildings since the city launched the app.
"I'm hoping people will realize property and maintenance issues are a problem and be proactive," Leoni said. "I also hope others, instead of just being frustrated with their neighbors, will shoot us a text so we can go take care of it."
Tipsters can now select "code enforcement violations" and "crime free housing" when they want to report a code violation. After selecting the category, users need to enter the address of the violation and give a short description of the situation before they submit the tip. The tipster also has the option to take a photo and to include with the tip information.
Once the tip is submitted, the appropriate person in the Crime Free Housing or Code Enforcement departments will review it and take action as appropriate.
City officials hope the application will sidestep the numerous steps and follow-up sometimes required when citizens reporting problems such as extremely tall grass and weeds, disabled vehicles, piles of garbage, peeling paint, shattered windows and sidewalks that are not shoveled.
The application can be downloaded for free on a smartphone or accessed through a computer at iwatchdekalb.com.