Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour announced Tuesday that his office has launched a smartphone app that allows the office to communicate much more effectively with the community.
The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office app is a free download for users and is available for both iPhone and Android smart devices under the name NYNiagaraSO.
Voutour’s vision to share information with the public is coming to fruition. NCSO connected with the Google market in July and the Apple market in December. The program was launched four months ago, according to Capt. Michael Dunn, the administrative captain of the Criminal Division
”It was several months in the making. There were some bugs we had to work out,” Dunn said. “We’d like more users to share information with. We’ve been big on sharing information with the community.”
Users of the app will have access to real-time detention center information with mug shots, charges and offender information. The app is fully integrated with VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), which allows crime victims to be notified about the custody status of their offender. The app also includes warrants, sex offenders, most-wanted criminals, news, the facility location, the sheriff’s office directory and much more.
“The most beneficial and significant feature of this app is that it lets us get important information right to people’s fingertips,” said Voutour. “The app greatly improves our ability to serve the public, and that’s what we’re here for. We’re thrilled that we can provide this to the community.”
Information that can be pushed right to a user’s smartphone includes Amber Alerts (including photos of missing persons), news about escapees and manhunts, weather warnings and other local emergencies.
“We know that more and more people are getting the information they need from their smartphones,” Voutour said. “We want to make sure we’re using the latest communication technology to keep the public informed, and this app lets us do that.”
Dunn does not have the numbers of the users of the program, but said, “The more users we get, the tips will come flooding in...It works out really well for us.”
Because of the app, the sheriff’s office has also gotten tips on a tip as to where a suspect will be at a certain time today.