RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – If you’re ever worried about contacting the police but it’s taking to long to get through on 9-1-1 or not sure if it’s a big enough emergency there’s a new app to help you.
Police and Sheriff’s departments can use it to link up with people personally when they
The app is called Relay, it’s free in the app store for Android and iPhones. Developed back in August of this year to revolutionize how anyone contacts police as crime is in the making or simple suspicion.
In the holiday season, the risk of crime always sees a spike and you may not see it coming.
“A car has been following me for a little bit longer then I thought it would,” Omyah Bolton said. “And I’ve been kind of freaked out, but no I shouldn’t call 9-1-1.”
“It’s just scary knowing somebody can’t get enough information and dial 9-1-1,” Cassandra Hollins told us. “Because you think it’s not important enough.”
The Relay app developed by a police chief in Indiana is looking to change that giving local police departments easy ways to receive alert texts and pictures of trouble. Ridgeland PD is the first in Mississippi to join.
“For instance would be there was a suspicious vehicle around the neighborhood,” Lt. Tony Willridge of Ridgeland Police Stated. “The citizen has the potential now to take a picture of that vehicle and upload that to the police department via the relay app.”
Once logged in you can anonymously direct authorities to the exact location on a map and check the status of the call. So far nearly 4,000 people in Ridgeland have taken advantage of Relay.
“It also alerts the citizens of traffic accidents in the area,” Lt. Willridge said. “So if you’re connected to Relay now you have real-time traffic alerts. You can connect your neighborhood to it, so anytime an individual in your neighborhood posts something it goes to everybody in your neighborhood.”
“We had an incident up in Wausau, WI this car going slowly up and down the block,” Relay CEO DJ Muller explained. “And then the police were able to see the exact same car three days in a row and set up and catch the guy on the fourth day as he was systematically taking packages from Amazon.”
So far those we spoke to today seem to be on board downloading the app.
“I probably would do that, I probably would do that today,” Bolton said.
“Especially during the holiday season,” Christiana Jennings said. “Not just the Christmas time but any holiday season it be way easier and I would definitely do it.”
Ridgeland Police highly encourage other agencies in Mississippi to join in on this app to respond quicker and connect to people, but it is not a full substitution for 9-1-1.