London Police will launch phone app in January

(Posted Dec. 24, 2016)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

A mobile phone app is in the works for the London Police Department.

The app will be available for free download to iPhone and Android devices starting sometime after Jan. 1, said Chief Glenn Nicol. Users will be able to search for it under “MyPD” on the App Store.

“As society gets more mobile, we want to stay connected in real time,” Nicol explained.

The app will include links to the police department’s website and social media posts, including Twitter and Facebook. Nicol noted that users do not need a Twitter account; the app will connect them directly to the department’s tweets.

The department uses social media for everything from posting traffic pattern changes to asking the public for help in identifying crime suspects.

In addition to dispensing information to the public, the app will allow the department to collect information from the public.

“One of the app’s biggest features is that people can anonymously submit (crime) tips directly to the police department,” Nicol said. “I’m pretty excited about this part. I think it will generate some tips.”

Through the app, a person will be able to choose to send a tip with their contact information or without. To send it without, they need only check a box marked “anonymous.” All tips are sent to the police department via the app’s email function.

A similar function allows users to ask questions, such as, “How do I get a police report,” or to submit nuisance complaints, such as reports of abandoned vehicles. Users will even be able include photos with such submissions.

“It’s interesting to see how technology has developed to keep people in touch,” Nicol said. “We want the public to feel like they can contact the police easily.”

He noted that the app should not be used for emergencies or situations that require immediate attention. For such situations, calling the department or 9-1-1 is the way to go, he said.

The MyPD app is a shared resource available to all police departments. To participate, a department subscribes to MyPD for a few hundred dollars per year and controls its own information.

“To develop an app on your own takes time and money, but MyPD provides a standard that police departments can adapt for their communities,” Nicol said.

It’s an economical way to provide convenient, easy-to-use communication to the public, he said.

Council meeting videos

At the Dec. 14 London council meeting, Mayor Pat Closser said several citizens have told him they enjoy watching the council meetings online, but have suggestions to improve the service. Video recordings of council’s regular meetings are posted at http://ci.london.oh.us/city-council.

Closser said the citizens asked that people at the meetings talk more clearly into the microphones. Sometimes, council members or others who speak at the meetings are difficult to understand on the recording, they said. They also asked that council explain legislation more thoroughly at the meetings, especially when items up for vote involves financial figures.

London city council’s next meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 5 in council chambers, 6 E. Second St. The video will be posted online soon after.

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