An ambitious app developer has created an Internet platform that will enable local communities to send their own alerts in crime related incidents.
UFINDEM is the latest “social media” app where users can send out their own alerts via computer or mobile device in local emergency situations involving missing persons, accidents, and thefts. The alert system is also being marketed to bounty hunters who can post pictures and request help from the public in locating missing clients.
Dido Ivey, owner and creator of UFINDEM will be testing the app in Colorado before it goes national.
“What we’re trying to do is create an online community,” Ivey said. “It’s a brand new platform that gives the local community a little bit of power to report things and give them more security.”
Law enforcement agencies have been jumping on board with social media alerts via the use of Twitter and Facebook. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is one agency who has found a use for this modern form of communication.
“We’ve embraced social media in a very big way,” Jacki Kelly, public information officer for Jeffco Sheriff’s office said. “We have absolutely had success in identifying suspects.”
Although there are no numbers with which to measure that success, Kelly reported that tweets and posts reach millions at a time and users are just as likely to see the alert as they would from a local T.V. news report. This year, Kelly says she will track cases from start to finish in order to better measure the success of social media’s assistance in communicating alerts.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation in Lakewood has also utilized social media after creating a Facebook and Twitter account in the summer of 2012. One of their most notable uses was for the Jessica Ridgeway abduction.
UFINDEM Alerts will be a notification system for citizens who can use the app to connect to Twitter and Facebook as well. Both web and mobile apps are available and the system is free to use.
“After receiving Jessica’s picture from the Westminster Police Department we shared the information with our social community and it received many shares in the following days. In fact, in the hours and days following her abduction, we shared a series of pictures of Jessica,” said Susan Medina, public information officer for CBI.
“My experience with CBI’s two AMBER Alerts featured on Facebook is that the community has come to expect that information to be there so they can share the details with their friends, family and followers.”
UFINDEM Alerts will be a notification system for citizens who can use the app to connect to Twitter and Facebook as well. Both web and mobile apps are available and the system is free to use. The user will be in charge of posting and deleting notifications and alerts can be tailored to target a specific region within a state.
“I think the local alerts allow them to get involved in the community,” Ivey said. “This is a great platform to do it.”
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