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Metra launches ‘COPS’ crime-reporting app

Metra has launched a "COPS" app to allow riders to report crimes or safety concerns on trains and at stations to Metra Police. | Metra

Metra has launched a new smartphone app to allow riders to report safety concerns to the transit agency’s police force.

The Metra COPS app, available on iPhones and Android devices, will allow users to contact Metra Police about crimes in progress or other security concerns on trains or at stations, Metra officials said in a statement Monday.

“This new channel of communication helps us enhance the safety and security of our entire system,” Metra Police Chief Joseph Perez said in the statement. “We always ask our customers and employees to remain vigilant and to say something if they see something. Using this app can be a more convenient way to do that than making a phone call.”

The app allows users to make reports anonymously and submit a photo or video of the issue in question, Metra said. It also allows riders to receive responses from dispatchers, as well as alerts and advisories.

The app was developed by the Massachusetts-based ELERTS Corporation after Metra’s Board of Directors approved a five-year, $274,000 contract in December, according to the statement. The contract is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Transit Security Grant Program.