Press-Republican

August 26, 2013

New app tells you who's in the Essex County Jail

By LOHR McKINSTRY
Press-Republican

---- — LEWIS — You can send Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting a crime tip or just find out who he has locked up, thanks to a new, free smartphone app from his agency.

“The app greatly improves our ability to serve the public, and that’s what we’re here for,” Cutting said. “We’re thrilled that we can provide this to the community.”

FIND THE APP

The app can be downloaded for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch through the Apple iTunes Store and for Android via the Google Appstore. There is no charge.

Cutting said device users should search for “MobilePatrol” and, after downloading, select the Essex County Sheriff’s Department from the menu.

The real-time-updated County Jail information includes inmate mugshots, charges and offender information.

The app also includes Sheriff’s Department news, the jail’s location and the department’s staff directory.

Franklin and Clinton counties have provided the app for some time, with the same information available.

NOTIFICATIONS

The app can be set up to notify users when someone is released from the County Jail, Major Thomas Murphy said in a recent presentation to the Essex County Board of Supervisors.

“It has victim notification, where you are able to register and be notified if a person is to be released from custody. You can sign up for email or a phone call to be notified upon the release of this inmate. You can search for a person (in the jail), or give us crime tips.”

The app is integrated with the national VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) system, which allows crime victims to be updated about the custody status of an offender.

Murphy said Sheriff’s Department alerts and a database of registered sex offenders in the county are coming next.

“We have a list of our warrants. We have some pictures of our most-wanted, and child-support warrants.”

The software vendor, Appriss Inc. of Louisville, Ken., can also accept advertising for the app, he said, so vendors such as bail bondsmen can advertise.

Someone with a smartphone can even call the Sheriff’s Department from the app, he said.

“The most beneficial and significant feature of this app is that it lets us get important information right to people’s fingertips.”

Information that can be pushed to a user’s smartphone includes Amber Alerts, with photos of missing people, news about escapees from custody and subsequent manhunts, weather warnings and other local emergencies, the sheriff said.

FUNDED BY GRANT

More and more people are getting information from the Internet via their smart devices, he said.

“We wanted to make sure we were using the latest communication technology to keep the public informed. This app lets us do that.”

A grant through the New York State Sheriff’s Association and Appriss Inc. is funding the app.

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com