Florida Police Offer In-House App to Report Crime

The Daytona Beach Police Department has launched an in-house smartphone app that allows residents to report crimes and access pertinent information.

by Patricio G. Balona, The News-Journal / April 10, 2018
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(TNS) — DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona Beach Police Department is the first agency in Volusia County to launch its own mobile app, providing an added digital platform to send out messages and giving citizens another way to report crime.

"We at DBPD are very proud to announce the rollout of our app," said police spokeswoman Lyda Longa. "We are the first cop shop in Volusia to have one."

Deputy Chief of Police Jakari Young said the idea of the app came up after seeing that Orange County Sheriff's office has been using one to keep its citizenry informed. That's what got the wheels turning to get the Daytona Beach Police Department an app. The police department is always looking for ways to better connect with the community, Young said.

"With smartphones, everything nowadays is pretty much at the push of a button so we figured out what better way than to connect with our community than to come up with our own app," Young said.

The app cost an initial payment of $7,500 and the department will pay $2,000 a year for maintenance, the deputy chief said. Daytona Beach Police Department contracts with Apex Mobile of California for the service. The Daytona Beach app is available for download free on Apple and Android devices.

"The app also has no ads and does not mine data," Longa said.

The app features 12 functions and includes the possibility to make anonymous tips, although police cautioned the app is not intended to replace 911 in case of an emergency, Longa said.

Other features of the app are links to wanted persons, information on some of Daytona Beach police's most wanted suspects, contact can be made with the school resource officers, reports can be filed and extra patrols can be arrested.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office is the other local police agency with a mobile app. Its FC Sheriff's Office app is designed and built by Live Tour Network of Palm Coast and is available free on both Apple and Android devices, said Flagler County sheriff's spokeswoman Brittany Kershaw.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office has an app in the works but it has not been completed, said sheriff's spokeswoman Laura Williams.

DeLand police does not have an app of its own but sends information to mobile devices through the Crime Watch app, said city of DeLand spokesman Chris Graham.

"We do not want this app to replace calling 911," Young said. "If you are in danger, immediate danger, imminent danger, please go ahead and call 911."

©2018 The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.