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Friday, October 31, 2014

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Police connecting with community via smart phone app

Published 2:10 pm, Wednesday, July 2, 2014
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The New Canaan Police Department released a smartphone application as a way to increase contact and partnerships with the community.

On June 27, the department began using the "My Police Department," or MyPD, app to provide notifications and information to the community regarding events and crimes, and to more effectively engage town residents.

"As part of our ongoing community outreach efforts," Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said, "we are pleased to have another way to interact with citizens. No one knows our community better than our citizens and we rely upon them to help keep us informed as we work as partners.

"The use of smartphones has become ubiquitous. We have a responsibility to embrace technology so as to exceed the service needs and expectations of the town residents we are sworn to protect and serve."

The department is one of only a few in Fairfield County to use this technology to communicate with its residents, according to a new release from Krolikowski.

The application, available as a free download for both Apple iPhones and Android-based smartphones, enables residents to interface with our department a number of ways.

In addition to making electronic mail and/or telephone contact with each member of the department's command staff, citizens can:

submit tips about crime (anonymously or otherwise);

include photographs (either taken with the phone or uploaded to it) and GPS location tags with submitted tips provide our department feedback on performance and ask questions;

get direct links and access to the department's website, Twitter feed, news and information page and Facebook page;

participate in departmental and community surveys;

commend an officer or other employee for a job well done;

get contact information for the department;

get GPS-enabled directions from wherever you are directly to police headquarters.

While all of the contact forms can be sent anonymously, the department encourages residents to provide an email address or phone number to permit a direct response. The ability to include a photograph and/or GPS location tag with submissions further increases the app's functionality. For example, to better explain a parking issue or identify a graffiti complaint.

As is the case with other police email addresses, online forms and social media pages, this app is not for any type of emergency situation.

The department will review all messages in a timely manner but does not always actively monitor all messages and app activity at all times.

The New Canaan Police Department's development of the application, provided to the Department by Wired Blue LLC, began earlier this year.

More information can be found at MyPDapp.com.

The download for the free app can be done by searching for "My Police Department" or "MyPD" in the iPhone app store or Android marketplace.