PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - From solving crime to real time traffic alerts, Phenix City police are turning to a new app to help them better connect to the community.
"Society with smart phones, as it grows it's just going to become a better tool," said Austin Murphey, Operations Manager for the Auburn based company, "The Police App", that customized key features for the city to use.
With the continual move to mobile, Phenix City officials are keeping up with the times. The app offers a variety of features, including a place to commend or critique an officer, which is something officials say is important in building officer-community relationships.
"They can know it's not just going to the supervisor or just going to whatever division they may have complained about, I'm getting it directly," said Phenix City Police Chief Ray Smith.
You can also directly alert officials if you're stuck in unusual traffic, so they can send out a timely notification to others.
The app also features a sex offender watch portal, alert notifications, social media links and the Smart 911 program Russell County rolled out Thursday, where you can put in personal info to help first responders during an emergency.
Another important aspect lets people submit an anonymous tip about a crime, and officials are hopeful it will help them solve some cases in the future.
"We've got a tip line, but the tip line is not secret, and so when you send in a tip on e-mail, then again it reveals at least your domain that you're e-mailing from. By submitting it through the app, it doesn't give us anything other than what's submitted on our app," said Smith.
The app cost the city about $8,000 and will require maintenance fees, but is completely free to users who have an iPhone or Android.