08/04/2015 11:43 EDT | Updated 08/04/2016 05:59 EDT

Toronto police release new app

Toronto police have released a mobile phone application they say will help the app-using public get public safety alerts, access community officers, find police stations and file some police reports.

But the app does not replace 911, nor can users make emergency calls from it, Toronto police stress. 

"We're a mobile-first society," said Supt. Hugh Ferguson, who introduced the app Tuesday morning.

Other police forces, including Edmonton, Ferguson said, have reported successful usage of the app.

The online reporting system can be used for:

- Damage to property or a vehicle under $5,000.

- Driving complaints.

- Graffiti complaints.

- Theft from a vehicle or gas under $5,000.

Whenever the police are concerned about public safety, the technology allows them to send a push notification to phones that have downloaded the app. The push notification, if enabled, will flash the police message on the phone.

The app was built by Mobile PD, a company that makes law enforcement applications out of Mountain View, California.

Mobile PD reported that some police forces that use the app have seen a 300 per cent increase in crime tips.

The application was paid for by a grant from the Ontario attorney general.