INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Officers in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s North District are trying out a new app to help improve response times in the neighborhoods they serve.
Relay is an app created and based in Indianapolis that allows neighbors to send pictures, videos and messages directly to police officers in their districts.
The app is being used in police departments in 17 different cities, including at Fishers Police Department.
Police said not only will the app hopefully help take some weight off the city’s emergency lines, it will also create better relationships between IMPD and the community.
“Often times we go to runs and somebody will say, of course you’re here but you’re never where I want you,. This allows them to tell us where they want us and need us,” said Officer Ross Jette.
Jette said if you have a serious emergency, you still need to call 911 but using the app to post a photo or video in other situations like vandalism or a suspicious person allows officers to respond quicker than ever.
“The officer can see your photo because he gets that information in real time. There’s no lag and when he responds to that run, he’s able to send comments back to the citizen that posted it,” said Jette.
Jules Wasmuth, who lives in Indianapolis, said she believes this is a good move for IMPD.
“I think that anything that helps the public to communicate with them better and feel safer and have more direct access with individuals so they get to see cops as people rather than scary individuals that they’ve been out to be recently, I think anything can be an improvement,” said Wasmuth.
The Relay app is free to download.
Currently, only officers in IMPD’s North District are using the app with neighbors. Jette said if all goes well, it could spread throughout the department.