Sheriff’s Office launched new smartphone app

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2019

LaFAYETTE — The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office has launched a new app for mobile devices in hopes of disseminating information to the public within its department.

Chambers County Major Mike Parrish said the idea for the app came about two years ago when the sheriff’s department started having trouble with its website. He said the person who designed and hosted the website retired, and it got to the point where the department was unable to update it and inaccurate information was getting out to the public.

“So, we shut it down and started to search for a new solution,” Parrish said.

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The sheriff’s office entered into a contract with from Auburn, which works with sheriff’s offices throughout the country to design mobile apps.

“We did our research and found that the majority of people get about 90 percent of news and information from mobile apps,” Parrish said.

He said most of the information people want to know is who is incarcerated and why they are there. Within the new app, users can touch the “current inmates” icon and will be launched into a search database of all inmates within the Chambers County Jail, including their mugshot.

Beyond that, Parrish said the sheriff’s department now can send news releases and news alerts directly into the hands of the people quicker than email. He said anytime the department wants to send out information, it can be done in the form of a push alert to anyone who has downloaded the app.

The news alert will then be stored under the “news” tab within the app.

“Anytime we have an Amber Alert or are searching for a robbery or murder suspect, we can put those notifications out there right away,” Parrish said.

The app launched Tuesday morning and is available for iPhone and Android phones.

Another feature within the app is a sex offender tab. Currently, it takes the user to the state website to search for sex offenders living in the area. Parrish said the app will soon have software to perform a Google Earth search and pinpoint specific sex offenders in a person’s vicinity and allow them to know their name, where they live and what crime they committed.

The app also allows users to submit tips to the sheriff’s office. It will enable the user to describe what is happening, their exact location from where sending in the tip and the time of the incident. Users can also send a photo if possible. This can all be done anonymously if the user chooses.

The app has the county’s most wanted criminals, information about the jail, contact information for leaders within the department and divisions. Also, it gives information about upcoming events and links to the department’s social media platforms.