iCatch Lynx

The City of Charlotte has provided public transportation users with an application to make catching the light rail system easier and more convenient. iCatch Lynx is an application for citizens to not only locate the nearest light rail station, but to also provide information on the time of the next departure. This allows users to gather information about travel on their phones before they even arrive at the station. They also intend to add a line map, google transit integration, and a feedback tool for users to provide experience information to the city.




Vigilante Application

The iOS application, Vigilante, was created to increase community participation in law enforcement. The idea behind the application was to alert citizens of nearby crimes in progress so that they could assist if possible. It also provided real time crime mapping.

The application was removed within 48 hours from the application store by Apple. Concerns were noted over liability and the encouragement of discrimination. These concerns were also echoed by the NYPD where the application had been launched.

This application was re-released under the name Citizen. It does still have the same features as the previous version. However, the creator of the application advised that he intended to remove some features to address previous concerns. The application is only available for users in New York City.

Memphis Music Initiative

The Memphis Music Initiative (MMI) is attempting to make a difference in the lives of poor Memphian students. On their website, MMI explains that “research demonstrates the important role music-engagement focused youth development activities can play in giving youth the skills, attitudes, and behaviors they need to overcome barriers and succeed in school and life”. In increasing the role of music in youth development, MMI improves the quality of life for Memphian students. MMI involves, collaborates with, and empowers Memphis communities. The organization takes open applications to serve as music mentors and also provides opportunities to be an advocate for the community. They write on their website: “Community input is critical to our initiative’s success as community engagement and ownership were core to the development of our approach and communities can create innovative solutions to the city’s toughest challenges”.


OD Help

by Ryan King

This is a type of application “OD Help” I researched that is not quite ready yet, however very interesting and could save lives once it reaches widespread adoption and use. The application is aimed at making Narcan, (generic name Naloxone) to heroin users that are overdosing. It can even be attached to a breathing monitor and alert authorities/assistance when a user is overdosing. They hope to launch it very soon and just received another 40,000 in funding. Hopefully, this app or something like it will save the lives of many and help us deal with the Opioid epidemic.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/22/health/fda-heroin-app-competition/index.html click here to learn more.

Shot Spotter

by Ryan King

Here is an example of an effective community engagement tool that is saving lives. The shot spotter is a microphone type device that can detect and triangulate gunfire. Police can arrive within minutes to the exact location of the gunfire, either to deal with the threat or collect evidence such as shell casings.

The spotter is a truly revolutionary device, and although it is not suited to every single community, many cities including Milwaukee and Chicago. North Carolina towns include Goldsboro and Rocky Mount.

http://www.shotspotter.com/ click here to learn more.

Community Members and Organizations as Partners

The Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) Developmental Disabilities Council is worth pointing out as an example of what happens when community members and organizations engage the community as partners. The council is a voluntary advisory group that is comprised of families, service providers, clients, and advocates for the disabled. Chaired by a community member, it advises advocates for the needs of the disabled in the community. In 2002, when the state was considering budget cuts for disabled services, the Council rallied the disabled community against the proposed cuts and was able to restore funding for those programs (pg. 6).

Read more below:


PredPol (The Predictive Policing Company)

PredPol was created from a research project between the Los Angeles Police Department and UCLA. The chief of the department at the time, Bill Bratton, wanted to use the computer statistic data that was on hand for more than historical purposes. He wanted a type of software that could forecast potential crime locations so law enforcement could be better prepared. Since then, this research project has been shaped into a forecasting tool for several police departments in the United States and aboard. PredPol focuses on three data points in making predictions: past type of crime, place of crime and time of crime. There is no personal information about individuals or groups of individuals in the software. PredPol’s information can be accessed on any tech device and can be printed on paper. Additionally, it requires no new hardware or additional technical staff to run the software. This software is innovative because it is a forecasting tool for crime. It tells officers what type of crime is most likely to occur and where it may occur. This makes officers’s jobs a little bit easier since they can be more effective with preventing and stopping crime. Moreover, this software is easily accessible and does not take much training to use. So, new officers can learn this software really quickly. This is definitely a game changer for law enforcement. The only downside is since this software is expensive, not all police departments can afford it, which may deter some departments from making the purchase. However, this is definitely worth the investment.

PredPol pushes for law enforcement to engage the community that are in the predictive areas and tell their citizens that they are using PredPol. The Los Angeles’ Police Department has used PredPol to build lasting relationships between community residents and officers so more residents are willing to report a crime if they see one happening. Through this technology, trust has been built between community residents and police officers. More and more community residents are starting to understand that law enforcement needs their help in order to keep them safe. But this would not have happened unless trust was established.

For more information about PredPol, visit their website http://www.predpol.com/