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BUPD: Now on Your Smartphone

New app allows community to send tips, concerns, feedback

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A new app that allows users to anonymously send tips to the Boston University Police Department (BUPD) makes it easier than ever to say something if you see something suspicious. Titled My Police Department, or MyPD for short, the app also lets people submit questions, find department contacts, even commend a particular officer. Launched by WiredBlue, MyPD is the first multifeatured iPhone app available to local, state, or school police departments.

The app can be downloaded for free at the iPhone App Store and Google Play (formerly Android Market).

“We want to be as accessible as possible to our community,” says Scott Paré, BU deputy director of public safety and BUPD deputy chief. “The public is using smartphones in addition to, or even in place of, their computers to read local news and alerts, provide feedback to their agencies, and follow and respond to social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. Social media and the use of new technology have become crucial for police as well in the 21st century.”

To send an anonymous tip to the BUPD, a user simply enters the subject matter, the location, and any details or description and submits the form. Users who want to receive a response must enter an email address or phone number in the details box. They have the option of uploading photos and images along with their tip.

Paré cautions that the app should not be used in emergency situations. If you witness a crime, you’re urged to call either 911 or the BUPD directly at 617-353-2121.

The app is designed to function as a two-way street. Not only can users alert the BUPD to suspicious activity, but using the “News & Alerts” tab, they can also find updates on investigations, arrests, and traffic safety. The app also provides the latest postings from the department’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Another perk? MyPD is ad-free.

The department wants to create a digital dialogue with the community. The app gives users the opportunity to ask questions and send feedback to the department by providing a dropdown list of topics, such as “Ask the Chief” and “Officer Concerns or Complaints,” and a box for comments. Users have the option of remaining anonymous when filling out this information as well. “The department can look at the community surveys to see what we’re doing right and where we need improvement,” says Paré. He hopes that users’ feedback will help the BUPD to become more efficient.

“We’re using an app for the same reason that major corporations and businesses do—to provide you with the best services possible,” Paré says.

The MyPD app is not for use in emergency situations. For immediate response, dial 911 or 617-353-2121. The app can be downloaded for free from the iPhone App Store and Google Play.

Tom Vellner can be reached at tvellner@bu.edu; follow him on Twitter at @tomgvellner.

1 Comments

One Comment on BUPD: Now on Your Smartphone

  • WHB on 09.05.2013 at 9:30 am

    Great new app!

    Small tweak: “Android Market” was rebranded as Google Play in March 2012, so such references need to be updated. :-)

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