How Mobile Apps for Law Enforcement Turn Smartphones into Powerful Tools to Combat Crime

Ken Schul

(Retired Captain, CMPD), Director, StackBench

The world of technology changes, advancing from one day to the next as it improves to fulfill the needs of the public. It can be difficult to keep up with the constant changes and updates, however, technology is so effective in bridging the communication gap that it is vital to daily life. With the use of a smartphone and a purpose-built app, it can be an extremely useful and effective tool for businesses as well as for first responders.

Smartphones are a part of almost everyone’s life and are a great way to communicate as well as document an incident or event that occurs. Law enforcement can use this to their advantage by implementing a police app into their infrastructure. Smartphone technology, in particular applications, allows departments to enhance their connection with society as well as their own personnel. Law enforcement apps can also serve as a great way to prevent crime in communities.

Law enforcement agencies can benefit by implementing an app for police in their daily use. An application made specifically for law enforcement allows them to manage posts and announcements for the public, as well as for their own personnel. With the Unified Communication Platform (UCP) application from StackBench, police departments can send out messages to the public on multiple platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter with the touch of a button.

Use with Ease

Busy schedules, especially for first responders mean little to no extra time to complete additional tasks. Law enforcement life is fast-paced and time is often of the essence. For those times of peak exigency, a crime prevention app can make a large difference in the outcome of a situation as well as in the public’s safety. Mobile apps for law enforcement can also help departments run more efficiently and respond to calls and other needs of the public more effectively.

For instance, if a police department needs to alert the public of a traffic lane or road closure, police administrators can do so quickly. The more communicative a department is, the less confusion there will be when an incident such as a roadblock comes up. In addition, the more the police can tell the public via app alert, the better it is for everyone in regard to safety.

Using an app for police is also helpful for police department personnel to communicate with each other. UCP Police from StackBench includes a staff alert feature that allows administrative staff to send memos, emails, and alerts to their teams quickly. In addition, there is a feature that allows the admin to see who has viewed the memo and who hasn’t. With instant communication and the ability to see who has received the important information, police admin may run operations much more smoothly. They can also rest assured their personnel has viewed the information.

An app for police is also extremely effective for the public to use as well. An application such as UCP from StackBench is free to the public so they can download it and easily use it to keep up with local law enforcement and to communicate directly with them.

One feature on UCP allows citizens to upload information to the police in seconds via the TIP function. This instantaneous communication is extremely beneficial and is a game changer for public safety. If a citizen witnesses a crime taking place, they can take a picture, or even a video and upload it directly into the app. There is also an option to remain anonymous if a citizen desires to do so. This particular feature not only helps police receive information much more quickly than if an individual calls the police, but it also provides law enforcement with information firsthand, directly, and in real time. Officers who take the call will already know what they are looking for and how to respond, increasing officer safety. Furthermore, UCP has GPS location capability so officers can swiftly pinpoint a location. This takes crime suppression to a new level.

Crime Prevention

One of the biggest advantages of a police app is its use as a crime prevention tool. The more information given about a situation the faster police can respond which increases public safety.

Crime prevention and situational awareness go hand in hand. A police app allows local law enforcement to be informed about potential danger swiftly. With an application such as UCP, officers can alert the public to be on the lookout. In turn, if citizens should observe anything of value they can let law enforcement know immediately. When everyone in the community is situationally aware, it increases crime prevention.

When an individual has the ability to directly and easily contact police from their smartphone, they are much more likely to report instances they witness. Often the public may think about calling the police in a particular situation, but may not want to become involved and may not want to give their name. With a crime prevention app such as UCP, citizens can upload information anonymously.

As mentioned, the more information a police department has, the better the outcome when they respond to a situation. For instance, if police receive a call where officers are requested to assist with a subject that was vaguely described over the phone, they may have trouble locating that subject. However, if an individual sends officers a photo of the person of interest, they are much more likely to be able to identify the subject quickly.

A law enforcement app can also serve as a crime prevention tool. When a department uses a police app such as UCP, they have the ability to send quick announcements to the community they serve. These alerts can provide information to alert or make the public aware of a particular situation. Making the public situationally aware can help prevent additional incidents from occurring.

In the event that an announcement is regarding a serial offender or a similar type of situation, utilizing a police application to let the community know may also help police find leads. For instance, if there have been numerous burglaries occurring in a particular area of town, law enforcement can let the public know through an app. By relating this information to the public, citizens are more likely to turn in information they may observe regarding the burglary alert. More information means faster leads which may lead to quicker apprehension.

Officer Safety

A law enforcement application can increase public safety in numerous ways. The ability to communicate promptly with the public is one way to keep citizens safe. This type of application can also greatly increase officer safety as well. With a police application, officers do not have to wait for dispatch to relate certain messages and information, nor do they have to worry about missing a memo from their supervisor.

With UCP from StackBench, department personnel can communicate with each other. Supervisors can alert officers about serious or escalating situations such as active shooters, pursuits, etc. Especially in those special circumstances that are of the utmost urgency, making law enforcement aware quickly can help save lives. Officers can increase their situational awareness as well by using a police app. The more intel a police officer has regarding a situation, the better they can prepare for it, handle it, and keep themselves and the public safe.

Furthermore, implementing a law enforcement application increases safety and security. Presently, there are often people in the public who use police scanners to hear what is going on in their community. If a criminal does this, they may be aware of a location police are going to for a call or in some cases, may be the subject at hand. If the criminal is aware of the police looking for them, they may be able to get one step ahead. To combat this, UCP is encrypted, meaning all communications are secure.

Combating Crime Together

The most effective way to fight crime is to establish a communicative and trusting environment between police and their respective communities. This often presents a challenge and when the gap between citizens and law enforcement is not mended, it can create misunderstanding, mistrust, and miscommunication. When this occurs, the public will not want to relay any information they have to the police. They may also not be aware of what is being done to protect their community.

Using an app in law enforcement allows the public and police to be communicative together. Working together, officers can keep their citizens situationally aware which increases safety. They can also be as transparent as they need to be by letting the public know about certain situations. Finally, the public can alert their local law enforcement of any and all information they feel may assist the police. With the touch of a button, the public can upload videos, photos, and more; they can even choose to report anonymously.

Law enforcement applications such as UCP are budget-friendly for police departments and free for the public they serve.

When local law enforcement can easily and safely communicate with the public, it increases public safety and crime prevention as a whole. Implementing a police application is an excellent and affordable way to prevent crime from increasing in their communities.

Explore our website and sign up for a demo today to see how law enforcement applications like UCP can enhance public safety and crime prevention in your community.