New Crimewatch App connects residents and officers in innovative ways; crowdsources safety
Fishers, IN – The City of Fishers Police Department (FPD) rolled out a new tool to combat crime in the community today with the announcement of the FPD Crimewatch App. Available for download now, the mobile app connects residents with officers in their district in real-time and offers two-way communication when reporting suspicious activity.
“Today’s announcement is yet another example of the strong, proactive leadership in the Fishers Police Department combined with the entrepreneurial thinking Fishers is known for,” said Mayor Scott Fadness. “The Crimewatch app puts tools to keep our city safe in the hands of our engaged residents and encourages community among officers and the people they serve. This is an inspiring initiative from FPD.”
FPD’s Captain Ed Gebhart noticed significant trends in the community, including an increasingly more mobile citizenry and a growing hesitation to call 9-1-1 to report non-emergency, suspicious activity among younger demographics. Coupled with the department’s desire to proactively patrol the community, Captain Gebhart recognized an opportunity to crowdsource safety in Fishers, and expects the incidents reported via the app to prevent crime before it happens, as well as gather intelligence.
The mobile app is not designed to replace 9-1-1, but further enhances the tools available to protect and serve the community. The app encourages residents to report suspicious activity, post relevant photos and pin-point the exact location. Once an incident is reported, the police officer in that district receives an in-car notification and is able to respond accordingly.
“It allows people to report something that isn’t an emergency, but may be questionable,” said Captain Gebhart. “Users can discreetly post photos and their location, and an officer can respond via the app. No other tool allows for this type of two-way communication, and it gives residents peace of mind knowing that the potential threat was checked out. This real-time information will be extremely beneficial to the responding officers as they work to safely and efficiently resolve the situation.”
In an effort to make the Crimewatch App as comprehensive as possible and encourage community-wide adoption, the developer, Auri Rahimzadeh, created a widget for neighborhood homeowner associations to post on their websites and added tracking measures to reduce phony reports. The widget will display recent activity in or near the neighborhood for up to 30 days and can be found on the Crimewatch App website. In addition, the app captures IP addresses in case fraudulent reports need to be investigated.
“We’ve been working on this for more than a year, and have a great solution for helping to keep Fishers safe,” said Rahimzadeh. “I’m so thankful for this collaboration and look forward to this technology making a real impact for Fishers residents.”
The Fishers Police Department will announce a community open-house to familiarize the residents with the app at a later date. Residents will be encouraged to stop by, meet the officers responding to app postings, learn how to download and use the app, and provide feedback to the development team.
“Thirty of our police officers have been trained and will begin using the tool on patrol today. So much time and effort has gone into it and I’m thankful of Auri’s partnership and commitment to serve the community,” said Captain Gebhart.
“We must be vigilant in constantly evolving and always seeking ways to be better for our community. This app is a smart solution that will lead to improved community for our residents, and I could not be more proud of FPD for this achievement,” said Mayor Fadness.
The app is available for download on iOS and Android devices. Users can visit https://crimewatch.fishers.in.us for detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to get started and use the app.