The Boone County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with SaferWatch, a mobile application and security platform, allowing residents to submit non-emergent information and be warned of nearby safety concerns.
The free app is designed to deter crime and document non-emergent situations by providing residents a means to report incidents such as suspicious activity, perceived threats and other public safety concerns directly to the BCSO via a mobile device. The app allows users to upload pictures, videos, audio, and/or text messages directly to the BCSO as an incident unfolds, though the app does not replace the importance of 911 calls, which residents should use in cases of an emergency, BCSO Public Information Officer Wesley Garst said.
“This is just for things that are suspicious, something they need our attention for but not necessarily right now because their life is in jeopardy. We still want people calling 911,” Garst said.
By collecting the data, the BCSO not only develops leads, it also sends real-time safety alerts to those who have downloaded SaferWatch.
“Say you are at a church and there’s an active shooter or a bomb threat or something down the road a mile or two,” Garst said. “It’s automatically going to see there are people with that app in that area that need to be sent that notification, and it will automatically do that on its own.”
The app can be downloaded via the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store and covers all of Boone County.
Reports submitted through the app are sent directly to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division and then forwarded to the agency pertaining to the report.
The BCSO encourages Boone County residents to download the app and use it to send tips. The app has an option to submit tips anonymously and also to request a call back for more information.