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New Smartphone App Gives Users Crime Tools

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BRETT LAKE
Carroll County Times

WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — Keeping tabs on inmates at the Carroll County Detention Center. Sending police anonymous tips. Searching for the county’s most wanted. There’s an app for that.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office launched the MobilePatrol smartphone app May 24, giving users up-to-date information on public safety.

The app is available for a free download on iTunes and Google Play and was developed for Apple and Android platforms.

It includes features for active warrants, agency directory, inmate information, most wanted lists, press releases, crime tips and alerts and notifications.

Through the last decade the sheriff’s office has been working to use more technology-based policing, said Col. Phil Kasten.

“We have tried to use different technologies and emerging technologies to share as much information as we possibly can with the public,” Kasten said.

The app gives residents an additional tool to gain access to critical public safety information. Users can also send in anonymous crime tips using their smartphones.

“To be effective in what we do it is very important for us to engage the public in public safety,” Kasten said. “And that is where we are constantly striving to make these types of technologies available and make this type of information available.”

The victim notification feature keeps crime victims aware of inmates or convicted criminals as they move through the detention process.

“It’s an important service to crime victims to keep them informed of those individuals that have committed crimes against them,” Kasten said.

Around 5 percent of criminals are responsible for 50 percent of the crime in the county, Kasten said, and this app helps the department’s focused deterrence approach to offenders that have a propensity to commit crimes.

“By engaging the public in the process of focusing on those individuals and being alert for them, particularly those that are wanted, allows us to more quickly bring them into custody and hold them accountable, enhancing public safety,” Kasten said.

The app also allows users to switch to law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Currently, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is the only agency in Maryland available on the MobilePatrol app.

For technical assistance on the MobilePatrol smartphone app, contact the sheriff’s office’s Information Technology Unit at 410-386-2307.

Information from: Carroll County Times of Westminster, Md., http://www.carrollcounty.com/

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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