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Sheriff’s Office debuts new iPhone App
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
Jun 05, 2013 | 2989 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Washoe County Sheriff's Office Deputy Robert Markin displays some uses of the WCSO's new iPhone and iPad app Tuesday morning during a press conference.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Washoe County Sheriff's Office Deputy Robert Markin displays some uses of the WCSO's new iPhone and iPad app Tuesday morning during a press conference.
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The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office branched into the mobile application world Tuesday morning with the announcement of its new iPhone and iPad App, featuring its most used services via smartphone.

The App, which is downloadable from the Apple App Store, will help the public better communicate with the Sheriff’s Office and ease the public’s access to services such as filing an online report or contacting individual departments, according to Undersheriff Todd Vinger.

“The internet has become a primary source for public information and an ever-growing percentage of the populous is using iPhones and iPads to access their information,” Vinger said. “The Sheriff’s Office has a history of incorporating cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking to increase efficiency, improve service levels and strengthen the partnership between our agency and the community that we serve.”

The App was designed by the Information Technology department at the Sheriff’s Office and the home screen features the following services:

•Search Inmates

•Graffiti Abatement

•File Online Report

•Newsletter Sign Up

•Contact Us

Vinger also noted key services such as Alert ID, Twitter and RSS feeds to help citizens stay informed with all things happening in their area. These services, along with those offered on the App, can be useful tools for the public and law enforcement, according to Deputy Robert Markin who heads up web and social media.

“(Graffiti abatement) is something we really hope the public will take advantage of,” Markin said as he displayed the ins and outs of the App on a project. “What we have done is given the public the ability to assist us with graffiti abatement.

“They can take a picture of any graffiti. They can put in optional contact info for when the graffiti is cleaned up then send in the photo to the Sheriffs Office. The Graffiti Abatement team uses geo-coordinates to show where they can map it, find it and clean it up.”

Markin said the App’s connection to the Sheriff’s Office newsletter sign up will play a key role for future services in the area. He said because the newsletter allows you to put in your zip code, the chance to send area-specific messages to local citizens increases with each person who signs up.

“Adding a zip code is optional,” he said, “But what we would like to do in the future is be able to target one area where the zip code is having a large increase in car burglaries, for instance. We can let them know the trend that is happening directly in their area.”

The Sheriff’s Office App revealed Tuesday was its first generation for iPhone and iPad and work is still in progress to complete the Android platform version of the App. No estimated time frame was given.

Vinger said having a mobile application will open its exposure to the community even further. He said this was “the first step” of many in bringing a constant stream of information to the community.

“You use (your cell phone) to communicate, to socialize and to gather your information,” Vinger said. “The Sheriff’s Office realizes that and we want to be sure we are providing the best information we can for the customers we serve. We want to make it easier for you to access your information.

“With our new App, you can access our website and other information, and all you have to is go to your phone and tap the star.”
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