Witnessed a crime in Troup County? There’s an app for that
Have a crime tip for authorities in Troup County? There’s now an app for that.
The Troup County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday launched a mobile phone application that allows users to upload tips and photos anonymously, listen to Crime Stoppers podcasts, receive alerts and traffic advisories and share YouTube videos with friends.
“This is something that’s been a long time coming,” Sgt. Chad Mann said, adding the app appears to be the first of its kind. “It’s just another way for people to be our eyes and ears.”
The free application was made available for download in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. Mann said the app cost less than $5,000 to develop, a price he said was well worth the potential benefits.
“The immediacy is there,” Mann said. “We have so much out there and so many things going on with social networking that we needed to tie that all together, especially seeing the growing market with mobile phones.”
The app comes at a time when law enforcement agencies here and around the country are creating Facebook and Twitter accounts, seeking to take advantage of the growing popularity of social networking sites and mobile phones. As of December, about 31 percent of mobile consumers in the U.S. owned smartphones, according to Nielsen, which expects that number to increase to more than 50 percent by the end of the year.
“What’s important about the app has less to do with this specific app than the emerging trend in mobile use,” said Emmett Murphy of 3 Click Media, the Washington, D.C., firm that developed the Troup County app. “Mobile devices have become the real emerging market, and within a very short period of time, most of us will be getting information on a mobile phone.”
Ben Halpert, an Atlanta author and expert on social networks, said he expects Troup County residents to make good use of the app.
“People want to be part of the community, and when they use a social networking application, it makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger,” Halpert said. “And it’s always nice to help out law enforcement.”