QA’s Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­leases mo­bile app

Sunday Star - - LOCAL - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­

CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice has a new iPhone and An­droid mo­bile app that will pro­vide to the pub­lic di­rect alerts of po­lice ac­tiv­ity, road clo­sures, mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents and more.

The app was re­leased Oct. 13 and is avail­able to down­load for free.

Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann was pleased to an­nounce his of­fice is the first — and cur­rently only — po­lice agency in Mary­land to have this app. The free app re­leases im­por­tant and crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion in a timely man­ner and al­lows the com­mu­nity to stay con­nected with law en­force­ment, Hof­mann said.

With a touch of the screen, users can view break­ing news, crime re­ports and press re­leases from the sher­iff’s of­fice. Sec­tions in the app in­clude a list of the Queen Anne’s County Most Wanted Fugi­tives, along with their names, pho­tos and of­fenses, and links to Crime Re­ports — a data­base that al­lows search by lo­ca­tion, zip code, dates and time, and pro­vides type of crime and a case num­ber. The app also links to the state’s sex of­fender registry, which can be searched by lo­ca­tion, and pro­vides names, pho­tos and de­tailed in­for­ma­tion for each of­fender.

App users can send the sher­iff’s of­fice an anony­mous tip through the app un­der the “Sub­mit a Tip” tab. Tips can be sent by call or email, and the ex­act lo­ca­tion can be sent if lo­ca­tion set­tings are turned on by the user. Pic­tures can be sent along with the tip. This can come in handy when see­ing a ve­hi­cle op­er­at­ing in a dan­ger­ous man­ner, pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer Lau­ren Moses said. Users can snap a pic­ture of the ve­hi­cle and send it di­rectly to the sher­iff’s of­fice, she said. She rec­om­mended the photo be taken by a pas­sen­ger or while the ve­hi­cle is stopped. All tips are con­fi­den­tial un­less the user wishes to pro­vide con­tact in­for­ma­tion.

Any emer­gency still should be re­ported via 911, Moses said.

In need of direc­tions? The app al­lows users to be able to nav­i­gate to the sher­iff’s of­fice, the near­est emer­gency room and Haven Min­istries home­less shel­ter.

Other im­por­tant fea­tures in­clude Re­cruit­ment and Ca­reers, and a De­vel­op­men­tal Dis­abil­i­ties form to let re­spond­ing agen­cies know where there are spe­cial needs.

You also can read and share the lat­est so­cial me­dia posts from the Queen Anne’s Sher­iff’s Of­fice on Face­book and Twit­ter, Moses said. The app keeps all cur­rent sta­tuses in one easyto-find lo­ca­tion.

Press re­leases for in­ci­dents like a mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent or a theft that did not cause a road clo­sure or re­quire no­ti­fi­ca­tion of po­lice ac­tiv­ity will be re­ported un­der the “Press Re­lease” tab in­stead of be­ing re­ceived as an alert no­ti­fi­ca­tion, she said.

“We have cre­ated this new mo­bile app as a ser­vice to our com­mu­nity,” Hof­mann said. “I en­cour­age every res­i­dent and busi­ness owner to down­load the app to­day. Our goal is to en­gage the com­mu­nity to be our part­ners in pub­lic safety, to make Queen Anne’s County a safe and en­joy­able place to live, work and visit. And please take a mo­ment to share the app with your fam­ily, friends, neigh­bors and co-work­ers.”

To en­gage the greater com­mu­nity in pub­lic safety, any­one with the app can use the “Share our App” fea­ture un­der set­tings, as well as for­ward alerts to friends, fam­ily and neigh­bors.

The mo­bile app was cre­ated by TheSher­if­, a di­vi­sion of OCV LLC, which spe­cial­izes in mo­bile app de­vel­op­ment for sher­iff’s of­fices and pub­lic safety. With more 500 apps in the app stores, OCV de­signs and de­vel­ops cus­tom apps for state, county and lo­cal gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

“We are proud to serve Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann and the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, an in­no­va­tor among Mary­land law en­force­ment. Nearly 80 per­cent of per­sons in the U.S. own and use smart­phones as their main means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. So mo­bile apps of­fer agen­cies a bet­ter way to alert, in­form, and re­source the pub­lic,” said Suzy Keenan, com­mu­ni­ca­tions strate­gist with OCV. “Mo­bile apps and so­cial me­dia are the trends for grass­roots shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion to­day.”

Keenan said re­sponse to the app in other ju­ris­dic­tions has been good. “The app is rather help­ful and helps the com­mu­nity stay con­nected to law en­force­ment,” she said.

Search for Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and down­load the mo­bile app onto your smart­phone or tablet. It is avail­able free from the iPhone and Google Play (An­droid) app stores.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice at sher­iff-info@ or 410-758-0770.


A new mo­bile app from the Queen Anne’s County Of­fice of the Sher­iff al­lows users to re­ceive no­ti­fi­ca­tions and up to date in­for­ma­tion.

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