On Your Side: Law Enforcement Apps To Protect You
When you need to contact the police, it's simple: You dial 911 or, if it's not an emergency, call the local police department. But law enforcement, judicial and safety organizations, together with information providers play a much bigger role in safeguarding citizens, increasingly using online services and apps to help keep us informed and protected. Here are a few of those apps that you might want to know about:
FBI Child ID: May 25 is National Missing Children's Day but, with more than 800,000 youngsters unaccounted for in the US, the issue is with us every day. This free app for Android and iOS (Apple) devices enables parents to store photos and vital information about their children that can be quickly emailed or provided to police officers if a child disappears. The app also includes tips on keeping kids safe and a couple of one-click buttons for dialing 911 or contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Offender Locator:This iOS app ($0.99) draws on publicly available information to show where registered sex offenders live. Wherever you are, at home or away, it uses GPS to confirm your location and identify offenders living in the area.
POM Alert: The same company that produces Offender Locator also provides this app that monitors local law enforcement and administration services to alert you to a wide range of potential hazards, from earthquakes to terrorist activities. Again, it's for iOS and costs $0.99. POM, by the way, stands for "Peace Of Mind".
Cargo Decoder: If you're on the scene of an accident involving a truck or tanker, this Android app ($0.99) enables you to identify the presence of hazardous materials by entering a four-digit number off the vehicle.
Your PD: No, that's not the name of an app but a sign of the times. Increasingly local Police Depart-ments have their own apps with info on local crime and, often the ability to anonymously report incidents. They're usually free. Check with your PD. If not, try MyPD (Android and iOS, free).