FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — A year later, Fishers police said its crime watch app is starting to generate tips, and lead to arrests.
It’s a tool Sgt. Ryan Jones said made this past year different. “Rather than trying to give us information through dispatch, we know exactly what we’re looking for,” Sgt. Jones said. “We see the plate. We’re running the plate. We know what we’re looking for before we get there.”
Information neighbors submit through a crime watch app. “Users can now use the app to be able to give us information that we couldn’t always get over the phone,” Sgt. Jones said.
The app isn’t meant to replace 911 but instead give neighbors another way to interact with police, by submitting tips and photos.
So far, 4,300 people have downloaded the app. It’s generated 500 tips and led to 10 arrests. “And those are becoming more frequent,” Assistant Chief Ed Gebhart said.
Gebhart came up with the idea. He said it wasn’t easy to get officers on board, but now they’re embracing it.
“This is not something that we should do; it’s something we have to do because it’s what our community is doing,” Gebhart said. “It’s what our kids are doing. It’s how they communicate, texting — they don’t hardly call anymore.”
Auri Rahimzadeh developed the app. Since then, he’s donated hundreds of hours making improvements.
“When an officer is viewing the app, we changed the layout so they can see very clearly, or much more clearly than before, what kind of incident it is,” Rahimzadeh said.
The app upgrades aren’t just for officers; soon it’ll be easier to upload your location. Instead of punching in an address, there will be certain tags with events.
It’s another feature Sgt. Jones said will make his job easier — and the streets he patrols safer. “It’s a game changer with the way technology is working,” Sgt. Jones said. “The way we police has to change. It has to keep up to the way the community needs.”
Rahimzadeh said the goal this year is to expand the app to other Hamilton County cities. The app is getting recognition outside Fishers. It received an honorable mention from Mira, which honors tech innovation.
To download the app, or learn more about it, click here.