(Posted Nov. 7, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
A new smartphone application for the London Police Department is now available for free download to iPhone and Android devices. Users can search for it under “London Ohio Police Division” on the App Store and Google Play.
“The main purpose for us having an app is that it’s another way for us to reach out and stay in touch with the community,” said Chief Glenn Nicol.
The two features about which Nicol is most excited are alerts and the “submit a tip” function.
When users download the app, they can choose to receive alerts. By saying “yes,” they will get real-time notifications about events such as water main breaks and road closures caused by traffic accidents.
“We put this kind of information on our Twitter feed, but a lot of people don’t use Twitter. The app is a really simple way to get that information,” Nicol said.
With the “submit a tip” function, users can send information to the police department about drug-related activity, general crime, and nuisance issues. The tip can include photos along with a written description. Users can include their name and contact information, or they can submit the tip anonymously.
“If people include contact information, we can follow up with them if we have questions. But if they want to stay anonymous, this is an easy and very efficient way to do that,” Nicol said.
He noted that the app should not be used for emergencies or situations that require immediate attention. For such situations, calling the police department or 9-1-1 is the way to go, he said.
Other features of the app include:
- Contact Us–a list of email addresses and phone numbers for each police department staff member;
- Police Beat Recap–summaries of incident reports;
- Traffic Crash Reports–a searchable database of crash reports from the past five years;
- News–press releases issued by the department;
- Social Media–a direct link, presented in chronological order, to the messages the department posts to its Facebook and Twitter feeds (users do not have to have Facebook or Twitter accounts to see these messages);
- Forms–links to downloadable forms for vacation house checks, special duty requests, and inclusion in the public safety database;
- Inmates–basic information (photo, race, gender, date of birth, and charge) about all Madison County inmates held at Tri-County Regional Jail;
- Recent Arrests–Madison County inmates who have been arrested and jailed in the last 24 hours;
- Sex Offenders–a map marked with the addresses of registered sex offenders in the area;
- City Permits–information about permits for garage sales, solicitors, concession licenses, and parking permits; and
- Resource Links–links to websites for area health, emergency, and law enforcement agencies.
ThePoliceApp.com, a division of OCV LLC, developed the app. OCV LLC designs and creates custom apps for state, county and local government agencies. ThePoliceApp.com specializes in app development for police departments and public safety organizations.
The cost was $4,500 for the app’s development. The police department will pay about $3,000 per year for the app’s ongoing maintenance and operation, Nicol said.