NWA Sheriff Office’s utilize technology to protect residents

KNWA

The Benton County Sheriff's Office is connecting residents with public records and resources with a new app and it's not the only local agency using technology to keep you safe.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA) – The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is connecting residents with public records and resources with a new app and it’s not the only local agency using technology to keep you safe.

From games – to food services – information you’re looking for is a touch of a button away. “Everything is technology-driven these days,” Benton County Sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Jenkins said.

Now the Benton County Sheriff’s Office is getting in on the trend with its own app.

“If there’s a fire there’s an accident – worst case a missing child that we’re looking for we can push out some information to as many people as we can as quickly as possible,” Jenkins said.

With a stroke of a finger, users can see records like who’s booked in the jail, a most-wanted list and resources like local shelters. “It’s just a lot of information packed in there and it’s all in one place,” Jenkins said.

BCSO isn’t the only agency with the free app. Washington County Sheriff’s Office was the first in the area to launch an app like this in 2011, Sheriff Tim Helder said since then a couple of changes have been made but it’s only improved the app.

Helder says they have hundreds of thousands of users. In the last 90 days between 3 to 5 million pages have been viewed – leading the way is the inmate roster.

“Our hope is that they’re not just accessing detainee information but they’re then going into other aspects of our website and services,” Helder said.

Helder says what he finds the most valuable are the alerts and information on active shooter situations.

“It’s a sad day when our churches and our schools have become soft targets to people who are praying on those folks,” Helder said. “I think things of that nature that the common citizen might think how do I access that type of information – it’s right there.”

Both offices say the program isn’t costing taxpayers a cent. They also report more features are to come on the app in the near future.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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