A new phone application will make it easier for teens to reach out for help in O’Fallon.
Because teens are faced with a wider range of safety concerns, from mental health to violent threats these days, the O’Fallon Police Department has partnered with the O’Fallon Township High School and Re/Max Preferred on a new smartphone application program.
The P3 app, which will be activated in mid-September, will allow students to anonymously provide tips to the police department and school. The ease of Text-a-Tip is to hopefully get teens to speak up.
The app allows students to attach photos, screenshots, videos, documents, or audio recording to their reports, in addition to engaging in a two-way dialogue with a real person.
Reporting suicide, threats, abuse, fights, drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, weapons or any other dangerous situation can result in prevention and intervention.
Members of the PD’s School Resource Officer Program, OTHS school administrators and mental health professionals will work together to ensure every student’s needs are met.
Lt. Kirk Brueggeman said the anonymous tip reporting solution is designed specifically with the educational community and is a vital tool in keeping schools and students safe.
They can either report through the P3 Campus mobile app or through any web browser at P3 Campus.com, he said.
“We are currently training staff and plan to activate this program in the middle of September. Through a generous donation from the Re/Max Preferred Community Action Team (CAT), we are able to provide this service for the entire 2018-2019 school year at no cost to the school or city,” Brueggeman said.
Re/Max’s CAT team recently presented a $2,500 check to O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach, Police Chief Eric Van Hook and OTHS Principal Rich Bickel.
“Thank you to Susan Holden and David Holden, along with all the agents of Re/Max Preferred for their continued support of our community,” Brueggeman said.
David Holden said the Community Action Team likes to support both the schools and the police department.
“This was a good fit,” he said. “Everyone was on board instantly.”
Real estate agents in both the Holdens’ O’Fallon and Swansea offices participated.
Chief Eric Van Hook said he was grateful for the generous donation from their Community Action Team.
“This younger generation definitely embraces technology, and the P3 App is a great example of using technology to address safety and mental health concerns in our schools,” Van Hook said.
The Edwardsville and Collinsville Police Departments implemented the program last school year and will use it again.
“The response has been fantastic,” Holden said. People went to Edwardsville to find out more on the program.
“Interestingly, most of the calls come after school hours, not during school.
“Whether it’s bullying, guns, drugs - you name it, kids can use the app any time of day,” Holden said.