Hoover Police Department is providing another line of communication through a smart phone app.
The app, available on iPhone and Android, provides access to police alerts, the department’s fugitive list, the sex offender list and Hoover PD’s social media posts. It is a “one stop shop” for community members, said Officer Brian Hale, who works with crime prevention and community outreach.
“We try to give them as many outlets to try and communicate with us as we possibly can,” Hale said.
Hale said one of the most helpful features is push notifications. Users can select which notifications they want to receive, rather than being inundated with information through Facebook or Twitter. They can also submit tips to police, which Hale said might appeal to people who do not think their report is a high enough priority to call police.
“A lot of people want to report things, and they just don’t want to tie up a 911 line or even the non-emergency line,” Hale said. “They don’t want to ‘bother’ us, which they could never do.”
Although the app provides a new way to communicate with police, Hale said it shouldn’t be the only way citizens reach out. While comments about traffic or a traffic light not cycling properly might be OK to submit on the app, real-time alerts of suspicious activity are best submitted over the phone.
“All of these fancy gadgets don’t replace picking up the phone to call us,” Hale said.