New app allows Essexville police, community members to communicate
(02/23/18) - The Essexville Public Safety Department is the first police agency in Michigan to use a new communication application.
"It's just one more tool in our toolbox to be able to connect with the community and have them be able to relay information to us as well," said Lt. Nate House, the department's public information officer.
The cellphone app is designed to get the public information when it's needed. Community members can also send anonymous tips to police.
Right now many of the communication apps police in Mid-Michigan use are one-way streets and alerts are sent out based on where you registered. The "See Something, Send Something" app is different."
"This is the next step in the technology using geo-fencing, knowing where the device is," app developer Kevin Angell said.
Angell said geo-fencing and crowdsourcing are the key features of how the app is able to disseminate information.
Angell said if a person who has the app is approaching a car accident, the app would be able to tell the user to take a different route.
It has more serious uses too. "So if we have a situation like they had in Florida we could notify all those students immediately to take shelter, and then continue to give them updates like how to exit the scene," Angell said.
The Essexville Public Safety Department is just starting to use the app and officers are asking community members to download it.
The school district plans to start soon too.
"It's one more opportunity for the students to see something and then send us something. It's one more opportunity for us to stay in touch with parents, students and administrators, so we're all on the same page," House said.
The app let's tipsters give a quick tip with just a picture and a quick description, or a normal tip which allows the tipster to give much more. "The who, what, where, when, why," Angell said.
The tip is then sent directly to police.
"I think it all goes together with the age we're living in that's technology based. I think this is, like I said, one more tool in the tool box to help keep communications and transparency with our agency to the community," House said.
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