The Villa Rica Police Department has launched a custom smartphone app designed to better serve residents and to provide near-instant notification of important matters.
The Villa Rica Police App is available for free through the app stores for both iOS and Android devices. It allows the department to both provide and receive information to the public concerning crime incidents, as well as important weather and other bulletins. A video preview of the app can be found here.
The app was developed through a partnership between the police department and OCV, LLC, a company that specializes in smartphone apps that focus on public safety issues. The contract to develop and launch the app was approved by the Villa Rica City Council on Dec. 13, and the $14,000 in funding came through the Police Department’s technology fund.
According to the Pew Research Center, some 80% of U.S. adults report that they get news from a smartphone or tablet. And the nature of smartphone technology means that residents can receive and exchange information via an app faster and more efficiently than other means of communications.
Community safety is the fundamental mission of VRPD. Being able to control urgent notifications to smartphone users helps citizens make decisions that keep themselves safer and provide critical feedback to the agency when time is of the essence.
The app allows the Police Department to push “Be On the Lookout” (BOLO) alerts to citizens, as well as to issue news releases about traffic snarls or other police activity.
In addition, citizens will be able to perform a number of actions through the mobile app including payment of citations, request security checks, submit records requests, complete employment applications, and submit a crime tip.
The VRPD app will not take the place of calling 911. If app users are engaged in a situation requiring immediate police assistance – to report a crime, or summon critical law enforcement assistance – they should continue to call 911 as they always have.
“We encourage Villa Rica residents to download and install this app on their smartphones and tablets,” said Villa Rica Police Department Chief Michael Mansour. “It’s the quickest way we can get critical information to our residents, and it is the fastest way citizens can help us.”
“We think this app will help us a great deal,” said Police Capt. Hunter Ethredge, who coordinated the department’s partnership with OCV. “And we think it will help us maintain our close relationship with the people we serve.”