Wiggins Police put crime-fighting technology in the hands of residents

Wiggins Police put crime-fighting technology in the hands of residents

WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - During the summer, Wiggins officers investigated two double shootings, including an unsolved case on South McGregor Street where two men were wounded.

"You could be the next victim and I hope somebody steps forward to help solve your crime," said Wiggins Police Chief Matt Barnett.

Now, Wiggins police officers are putting the latest crime-fighting technology into the hands of residents.

Hoping to encourage the public to get more involved in solving crimes, the Wiggins Police Department recently purchased the MyPD app. WPD became the first law enforcement agency in Mississippi to launch the app.

The new tool gets the public involved in keeping their small community safe. Anyone can download it for free on their smart phone. With a simple touch, residents can report a crime anonymously upload a picture, send emails to the chief and his investigators, commend an officer, or even call the dispatch line directly.

"I really like that feature," said Barnett. 
The police department can send out mass alerts that affect public safety, like serious accidents, boil water notices, school lock downs and missing children reports.

"Law enforcement's trying to get information out quicker, so it doesn't cause so much confusion later when the true evidence comes out," said Barnett.

The app boasts more than 40 functions, including announcements about community events. However, it is not meant to replace 911.

"I think it's a good idea. I think it'll help out the police department with their notifying the citizens of things going on, things to watch out for, criminals in the area," said David Farmer of Wiggins
MyPD provides links to the police department's Twitter account and Facebook page. The chief says the app makes sense, because so many people already have smart phones. He hopes the technology will help build a stronger bond between the officers and the people they protect and serve.

"It's everybody's community and I believe it's our part for everybody to play some type of role and make it safer for everyone else. I think the community's going to see on our side that we're trying to make an effort to establish better relationships," added Barnett. "I hope law enforcement in Mississippi really look at this app. I think it's going to do great things for communications with the community," he added.

The police department will pay $600 a year for the service. So far, about 115 people have downloaded the app. The chief plans to notify residents about it through posters, handing out cards, and placing a message in their water bills.

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