BARTOW – For years, law enforcement agencies have been using the Internet to reach out to the public, deliver safety tips, and fight crime.
Years ago, law enforcement agencies created Web sites to post news and to assist citizens.
Then they created social media pages as well.
Now, in a continuing effort to keep citizens informed, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office just launched a mobile phone application, one that lets people take PCSO information with them wherever they go.
It’s part of an ongoing attempt to ride a high tech wave of innovation and use it to fight crime, said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
“Our new mobile app is just one more tool — along with our website, Facebook page, Twitter, Youtube, Nixle, and Pinterest — that will help us share information and keep our citizens better-informed about what’s going on in Polk County,” Judd said.
To download the new, free mobile app to an iPhone or smartphone, just search for “Polk County Sheriff” in the App Store, or find the county law enforcement agency by its app name, “FLPolkSO.”
“This application allows you to search for wanted persons, see who’s been booked into the jail, receive news alerts, and have access to other types of information that’s always available on our website,” noted Carrie Eleazer, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The difference, she added, is “now this information is at your fingertips and with you wherever you go.”
A mobile application, better known as a mobile app, is a software application designed to run on smartphones and other mobile devices. They’re provided through application distribution platforms like the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World, and get downloaded from the platform to a target device, such as an iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android phone.
Anyone who wants to receive news alerts directly from the sheriff’s office can sign up for free public safety alerts through Nixle, a service created by Nixle LLC, which delivers public safety and community event notifications from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office by web, e-mail, and cell phone, sent and received free of charge.
Cell phone users must currently have text capability in order to receive text messages. Normal text charges will apply, depending on the customer’s agreement with their cell phone company.
Residents can visit the agency’s website, Polk Sheriff , to register/subscribe.
“Simply look for the Nixle link, and click to register,” Eleazer noted. “Users may elect to receive messages via their cell phone, or email or both.”
Go to Nixle to sign up.
For example, on Friday the Polk County Sheriff’s Office asked for the public’s help in solving a death investigation now being conducted at Country Club Liquor Lounge, a bar at 245 U.S. 17 in Bowling Green.
Deputies had been called to the lounge shortly after 2 a.m. today, after receiving a call about a person who was not breathing there. Deputies said the initial investigation indicated the person found dead, and several other patrons at the bar, had been involved in a disturbance earlier in the evening. The dead man was later identified as 43-year-old Kelvin Lee Morris of Winter Haven.
The investigation is ongoing, but anyone with information could use their mobile app to contact the sheriff’s office with tips.
More and more law enforcement agencies are using mobile apps. Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine just identified 10 smartphone apps that provide tools for patrol officers.
“These 10 law enforcement apps should keep you engaged in your investigations and may just save you a trip back to the station,” Police noted in an 2011 article titled “10 Top Law Enforcement apps.”
They include Police Partner, an app that enables officers to input field notes to take away the need for large bulky notebooks, and costs just $1.99; Spanish for Police, which provides Spanish commands and questions organized in basic law enforcement categories such as Officer Safety, Arrests, Searching Suspects, and Miranda Warnings, at a cost of $2.99; and MobileArms for Glock, which contains details of every Glock handgun model and a list of gun dealers and shooting ranges in every state, costing $1.99.
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