Why Do Police Departments Need to Provide a Mobile App for Officers and Citizens?

Ken Schul

(Retired Captain, CMPD), Director, StackBench

Mobile apps may be the best communication tool for police departments. Yet, they are widely underutilized. The improvements and evolution of technology are positively changing the way police officers and citizens communicate with each other. Mobile apps provide a fast and secure way for officers to share with the people in their communities. This can help them build trust and improve safety for the people they serve.

How Police Departments Communicate with Officers and Citizens

Law enforcement teams communicate with officers and citizens in different ways.

Especially with community policing, officers speak with the local community to bond, connect, and learn more about each other. Being present and available is a way for both sides to hear each other’s missions and concerns. Officers also talk with citizens during more serious situations, such as investigations and police stops. In such circumstances, they will want full cooperation and compliance with witnesses and the people in the area. Therefore, law enforcement will have to communicate clearly what they want the locals to do so they can get to the bottom of the incident without interference. Internal communications between officers can look a little different. For example, when there’s a disturbance in the area, police must quickly inform officers nearby about what’s happening and where. That way, everyone can swiftly respond to the call.

The same applies at a crime scene. Law enforcement must be filled in on the details of an investigation so that they know what they’re dealing with. In addition to giving officers up-to-the-minute information, police departments must provide the latest information on policies and procedures. These are often changed or updated, so the entire department must be up to speed. When a new policy is implemented, law enforcement leaders must ensure that all their officers know what new procedures they’ll have to follow and where they can find more information.

Why Police Departments Need a Mobile App to Communicate

The prevalence of smartphones means everyone is used to using apps on a daily basis. Police officers are no different.
Here are some reasons why a mobile app is the best way for police departments to communicate with their community and internal teams.


While calling 911 is still the best way to reach the police for emergencies, apps provide another alternative for connecting with officers. For example, citizens often need to contact law enforcement for non-emergency reasons. Mobile police apps provide that extra communication channel so citizens can directly communicate with their local police department. Law enforcement members can do the same. When they want to connect with individual squad members or respond to citizen messages, the system allows them to do so conveniently and quickly.


A mobile app brings the police department directly to citizens, making it accessible for those who may struggle to get to the police department in person for any reason. It is also less intimidating to look something up on an app or submit a message than to call or visit a police station.

Connect with Police Departments

With apps like the UCP Police App, every officer in the department will be registered on the app and have the system on their phones. So, communicate with their local police department when there’s an update or concern. This removes several cumbersome steps when a citizen needs to speak with a particular officer about a case or other issue.

Broadcast messages securely

Police apps benefit departments because they allow them to quickly broadcast important information to the public without compromising citizens’ privacy. Not only that, systems like the UCP Police App which is one of the best apps for citizens and police provide secure and safe modes of communication for law enforcement. Any messages sent within the app will be encrypted, ensuring no messages get lost or seen by unauthorized parties. In addition, users will receive a notification on their phones anytime the sheriff or police department sends an alert update. That way, people won’t miss out on any urgent news from law enforcement.

Decrease the risk of misinformation

An issue that’s a point of concern is the risk of misinformation. Information moves and spreads rapidly, thanks in part to social media. The growing number of users and noise on social networking sites increases the likelihood that details and news can get misconstrued or misinterpreted, which may cause an unwanted reaction. With police apps, departments can better control the narrative and communicate factual and accurate information to citizens and government partners. In addition, police officers can send messages and official news updates about an ongoing situation to citizens directly through the app. As a result, law enforcement agencies can accurately provide citizens with factual information to avoid confusion and the spreading of rumors.

How Do Police Apps Work?

So how do police communication systems, like the UCP Police App for Departments, work? First, law enforcement agencies will set up the app by registering all their employees into the system. They will include all their data and information such as name, rank, squad, contact info, etc. Once that is completed, an account with login credentials will be created for each employee. All the information is encrypted to ensure security and privacy for every user. Then, employees will download the app onto their mobile devices and use their newly-created login info to get into the system. Once they’re in, each officer is ready to go. Individual citizens will also have to download the app, which is available on Apple ie. Police app for iPhone and the Google Store ie. Responsive police apps for Android. Once they do, they will be able to communicate with their local police department and individual officers.


Communication between officers and citizens has never looked better. Mobile apps will help strengthen the bond and trust with both parties, which is vital to police success. They are a secure and safe way for police departments to stay in touch with citizens and share valuable information with internal and external teams.

Interested in learning more about police apps? Visit StackBench to learn more.