Mass. State Police debut smartphone app for public safety - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Mass. State Police debut smartphone app for public safety

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

A newly released Massachusetts State Police smartphone application has special features that no other law enforcement agency is using to get information out there to the public.

The release of the app comes just in time for the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.

State police explained at a news conference Wednesday how the app can benefit residents in Western Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben said the main use for the app is so the public can get real-time information from law enforcement with very little delay. The app has a technology called geofencing that will allow the user to look highways or towns throughout the state individually.

"So if you have the Mass. State Police cell phone app and you're driving into one of those areas that we've put the geofence around, you'll actually get a message outlining what the concerns are in that particular area or you might want to avoid that area to travel through at that point in time," Alben said.

Users will receive push notifications with these alerts. That means residents all across the state can know exactly what's going on and where. Western Mass. residents that will be traveling east for this year's marathon can stay in the know when they travel for such a big event.

"What the app does is give us the ability to put it all into one screen, to one area, where you can go and visit that you can find all of our barracks. You can find phone numbers for each one of our barracks geographically across the state. They're highlighted, all you have to do is touch them on a smart phone and it will dial that station for you," Alben said.

Alben said the public can use the app to connect with police anonymously.

"These kinds of applications, this kind of technology furthers our ability to communicate with you directly. It can be done anonymous or it can be done with your name. And either way is fine with us as long as we get information that can help us avoid catastrophic events or threats to individuals to the public or in general," he said.

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