The New Castle County Police Department has released a new app to communicate with residents.
Alerts — for example, regarding road closures or active shooter situations — will go out to app users. Public Information Officer M/Cpl. Michel Eckerd says the app is another tool for communication, along with social media and the Department’s REVERSE 911 system.
He also points to a function for submitting tips. The app enables two-way anonymous communication.
“So that you can actually have a conversation with us, whereas before you would just submit a tip and that’s it. And then we work with whatever information you gave," said Eckerd. "But if we have additional questions now, we can send you an additional question and we still would not have any way of knowing who we’re speaking with."
Eckerd says the New Castle County Police Department hopes to update the app with more functions in the future, including geofencing for alerts.
“Say you’re travelling through New Castle. Okay, we have these roads shut down in New Castle. You could be living in Bear, but because you’re in New Castle, you would get that update," he said.
Recent industrial accidents in New Castle County have prompted criticism of REVERSE 911 systems — which, depending on how a law enforcement or emergency management agency uses them, only send alerts to cell phones if an individual signs up online.
The new app must also be downloaded onto a mobile device to receive alerts.