Marion County residents now have a new high-tech option at the tip of their fingers to report non-emergency incidents to the police. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has adopted Relay, a mobile app that bridges the gap between first responders and citizens.
The alert will go directly to nearby officers instead of through 911, freeing up dispatchers for true emergencies.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, IMPD Deputy Chief of Operations Josh Barker said the app could be a game-changer for law enforcement.
“While this is not a replacement for things that are already in place, it certainly is an enhancement to how the public in Indianapolis can interface with their police department directly,” said Barker. “It uses app-based technology to directly report non-emergency incidents and activities directly to the officers who are patrolling the neighborhoods.”
The app was developed by a startup that launched from Indianapolis venture studio High Alpha.
Barker says the technology allows residents to harness the power in their hands, namely their smartphones, while not bogging down 911 operators.
“This allows people who are experiencing that issue, to document it with camera or video evidence. Navigate a very user-friendly interface to upload that picture and describe their complaint. Then our officers in the field, who are monitoring the relay app via their laptop computers, get that alert directly sent to them,” explained Barker.
Barker says while the app is a handy tool for Marion County residents, it can also be used by visitors to the city if they have the app on their phones.