The sheriff’s department in Jackson County, West Virginia has become the latest institution to adopt an app aimed at reducing police response time, particularly during active shooter incidents and other emergencies.
IN FORCE 911 sends alerts and messages directly to terminals and devices of police officers who are closest to a specific incident instead of routing calls through a dispatch system. The app also allows courthouse employees to launch an emergency alert within seconds rather than minutes through the traditional system, according to a company release.
In the event of an emergency, the alert is sent to the dispatch center, police cruisers and officers’ cell phones with specific information, including the building and room where the alert originated. The alert also opens a two-way chat dialogue that allows staff to communicate further details of the threat to first responders.
First responders can also gain access to floor plans for buildings, security camera feeds and other emergency information to help plan their response, the release said. The app’s launch in Jackson County will connect the sheriff’s department, the county courthouse and the Ripley Police Department, which is located in the county.
“In today’s world, having technology activated that will immediately connect courthouse employees, the sheriff’s department and local law enforcement simply makes sense,” Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs said in a statement. “It is reassuring for everyone to know they can report a dangerous or suspicious situation to police and reach them in seconds. As we all know, time is of the essence in an emergency.”
The department and In Force Technology, the company that produces the app, also recently delivered a presentation to the leadership of the Jackson County school district about potentially installing the software in school buildings. The software is now used by more than 40 communities — largely school districts — in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, the release said.