CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Today Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined by West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jimmy Gianato and West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center Director Thom Kirk together announced a new mobile app, that enables West Virginians to submit tips concerning suspicious criminal and terrorist activity, is now available for smartphones.
"Through the use of innovative technology our citizens can download the new Suspicious Activity Reporting Application for free and help protect their own communities," Gov. Tomblin said. "With the assistance of our citizens, important information can quickly get into the hands of our law enforcement community allowing them to provide better protection. This is just another example of my administration's commitment to helping keep our streets and citizens safer."
Developed by West Virginia Interactive as a project of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center, the app sends submitted information, including photos and texts, to the Fusion Center where the information can help authorities react to and prevent incidents from occurring. The previous methods of submitting suspicious or criminal activity by using the Fusion Center's website or by calling them directly has now been enhanced by the implementation of this application.
"The longer you wait the less accurate eyewitness information becomes and evidence fades," said Thom Kirk, Director of the Fusion Center. "Enabling the information to be sent at the time the activity is taking place will not only improve the accuracy of the report, but also improve the ability of the authorities to respond quickly."
The free application is available for download from the iTunes App Store or Android Market and gives citizens the ability to:
- Capture a photo from the app or use one that already exists on the device
- Automatically find and use their location or enter an address
- Report detailed subject and vehicle descriptions
- Remain anonymous if preferred, or include contact information
"We're excited about getting citizens involved in protecting their communities," said WVDHSEM Director Jimmy Gianato. "We're currently looking at our other services to see what else makes sense to move to the mobile platform."
The mission of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is to ensure the protection of life and property by providing coordination, guidance, support and assistance to local emergency managers and first responders. For more information, visit http://www.dhsem.wv.gov.
The West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center is a partnership between public and private entities. Through the cooperation of local, state, and federal law enforcement, public safety agencies, and the private sector, the fusion center is able to better protect the citizens of the United States against all hazards. For more information, visit http://www.fusioncenter.wv.gov.
The new Suspicious Activity Reporting Application was developed at no cost to the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management or West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center through the state's self-funded electronic government program, WV.gov. For more information about West Virginia's electronic government program, visit: http://www.wv.gov/partner.
WV.gov is the official website of the State of West Virginia (http://www.wv.gov) and is the result of an innovative public-private partnership between the state and West Virginia Interactive. West Virginia Interactive works with state and local government agencies to build and manage interactive online services and is a subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC (NASDAQ: EGOV).
NIC Inc. is the nation's leading provider of official government portals, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company's innovative eGovernment services help reduce costs and increase efficiencies for government agencies, citizens, and businesses across the country. NIC provides eGovernment solutions for more than 3,000 federal, state, and local agencies across the United States. Additional information is available at http://www.egov.com.
Amy Shuler Goodwin