By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a new way for SEPTA riders to share security tips directly with transit police.

SEPTA might say, “If you see something, SEND something.” SEPTA has a new smartphone app called “SEPTA Transit Watch” that allows riders not only to text, but to send transit police photos or video of crimes or safety issues, anonymously if they wish. SEPTA Police Sgt. Michael Wright says dispatchers can ask questions of riders or send out “Be on the lookout” messages.

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“It’s not just a one-way thing, it’s a two-way thing. And if the public sees something, they can allow the police to know,” Wright said. “And if we have someone who we’re looking for, someone who we want the public to know, we can also put that information out there.”

The app is being hailed by the deaf community, who say their ability to call a dispatcher through a mobile phone is limited.

General Manager Jeff Knueppel tested the app for reporters.

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“So I wrote, ‘This is a test from Jeff Knueppel.'”

And less than a minute later, a response from dispatch.

“Test received. Good morning.”

Knueppel says eventually SEPTA will roll the Transit Watch functions into its main app, but right now the agency wanted to launch it quickly so they released it as a separate app.

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The free app is available for Apple and Android phones.