Police App in Indiana Lets Residents Report Non-911 Incidents to Cops
The police department is willing to share the app and its technology with other communities around the nation who would like to use it as well, said Gebhart. "The business environment in the city of Fishers allows its employees to innovate and make the city better" by working together, he said. Gebhart met Rahimzadeh through a business incubator in the city called Launch Fishers, and they took their idea and ran with it. "This isn't just a police department initiative, it's a city effort," he said. Lt. Zach Perron, the public information officer of the Palo Alto (Calif.) Police Department and the general vice chairman of the Public Information Officer section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, told eWEEK that apps like those being used now in Fishers are truly transforming the ways that officers can respond to crimes in their communities.Police departments like the one in Fishers "are really on the forefront of interacting with their community and it's great," said Perron. "The overarching idea is to give people as many channels as possible to provide information to law enforcement. When you funnel people to a particular method, that may prevent participation for other people. Mobile apps are another step in getting input from residents."
As society is changing, police departments "need to change also and leverage technologies as best they can in whatever way their residents seem comfortable," said Perron. "While it may seem odd to some people that someone would want to pick up a smartphone to report something using an app, that would not feel strange to someone who grew up with digital media."