Peninsula law enforcement introduce new crime-fighting app

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Law enforcement agencies across the Peninsula announced a new initiative to fight crime Monday.

Hampton, Newport News, York County and Hampton University are teaming up to make the streets safer with new crime-fighting and communication technology, known as the Connect Protect app.

Police chiefs and city officials discussed the technology, which officials say is due to a new grant from the Wason Fund for Public Safety via the Williamsburg Community Foundation.

It’s a simple concept: Whatever you see or hear, police want you to share it with them. With the new app, people can share what they see when they see it, with an officer already on the way to them.

The creators of the Connect Protect app, Shield Group Technologies, unveiled their Peninsula plan Monday. Each agency’s app is tailored to connect the person reporting directly with police. For example, the person who uses the app can take a picture or video of an event as it happens. The app sends it directly to police with a GPS co-ordinate attached to it.

“If you can shorten that information exchange from the victim to the officer responding to the scene with minimal interference that’s when we’ll make a true advantage and true step in the right direction,” Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult said.

There’s another part of the app that connects the app with the officer on the street. It is called Shield Connect. All of the agencies will use it.

“When you get into the Shield Connect,” Chief Sult said. “It really allows us to push information like you see on TV, where you get a suspect’s picture shot and we can push it out to the officers real time.”

The City of Hampton’s 311 also got a version of the app. A spokesperson said it can handle all the issues citizens have in the city. Whether its too high of grass, a pothole, or whatever they come across.

“Snap it, describe it, send it and 311 will take care of the rest.”