With the Queen City on the brink of exceeding 2019’s homicide count, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is rolling out a new mobile app to help prevent crimes and gather feedback from the community.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings called the new MyCMPD mobile application a “game changer” in connecting local law enforcement directly to the public and personalizing public safety.
The application features near-real-time crime detection in users’ areas, geofenced push notification alerts for nearby public safety issues and a slew of existing CMPD services and resources — including Crime Stoppers, recruitment, division officers and more. Users can also explore nearby incidents, events and interactive guides. A future phase of the app will include interactive photos, videos, documents and voice recordings for crime tips.
“This is a one-stop-shop for services and resources,” CMPD Deputy Chief Jeff Estes said during a press briefing on Thursday.
Charlotte’s illegal homicide count is up to 104 after Saturday’s fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ruben Contreras Saturday in the 100 block of Orchard Trace Lane. The total is three away from last year’s 107 illegal homicides. CMPD continues to request the public’s help in solving violent crimes. Jennings said the app can quickly and accurately inform the public about events that may be transpiring in their area.
Also, the chief said he wants CMPD to continue to be accountable to the public. He believes the app is an opportunity to directly share information and find out how residents want to be policed.
The department partnered with hyperlocal public safety app developers Atlas One out of Austin, Texas, to bring MyCMPD to fruition. Donations from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Foundation paid the $150,000 development costs, CMPD confirmed. The police foundation has also funded body-worn cameras, electronic monitoring devices, CMPD’s de-escalation facility, firearm simulators and more.
To use MyCMPD,
- Download the free iOS or Android MyCMPD app.
- Tap “GET STARTED” to create a profile.
- Include a location or add places to monitor.
If an alert occurs near a user’s location or places they track, the app will send a push notification. MyCMPD will also have the ability to publish incidents, events, places, guides, directories, maps, news updates, links, FAQs and more.
“Users can be comfortable sharing their location with Atlas One knowing their data is safe,” Jamieson Johnson, vice president of Atlas One, said. “Location access simply allows us to notify you if an emergency is occurring nearby. We never track historical locations or share your personal data with any third parties, including CMPD.”
Johnson did say that users can still be notified of alerts at nearby favorite places like their children’s school or home, even if they choose not to share their location.