Preventing School Shootings in Texas: App encourages youth to collaborate with officials

In a world dominated by smartphone usage, a developer has created a solution for bridging the gap between an unlikely duo: law enforcement officials and students. How so? By way of an app, of course.

Developed by Microassist, a primary training vendor for the State of Texas, the DPS (Department of Public Safety) application, iWatch Texas, will allow teachers, students and parents to report anything deemed suspicious, which in return could save numerous lives.

“It’s the first statewide mobile app of its kind in the U.S. that helps citizens track, identify and report on potential criminal activity. With the rise of the mobile generation, organizations with mission critical content – like DPS – greatly benefit from expanding their reach to a wider and technologically oriented audience,” said Microassist’s CEO, Sanjay Nasta in an official press release on the company’s website.

“Making sure the information is forwarded to the correct agency is a big part of this. Before, the information might now go to the right people, might not go in a timely manner, might not be there when the information is needed,” said Lieutenant Nick Bristow of the Collin County Sheriff’s Office. “[The application] gives law enforcement and school administrators a chance to intervene before it’s too late.”

The app already encompasses useful features, such as information on most wanted fugitives, sex offenders and human trafficking. Reports are transmitted to the Austin Regional Intelligence Center (North Texas Fusion Center in McKinney for the Dallas/Fort Worth area) where the information is then vetted and passed along to analysts from local, state and federal agencies. The information is used to gather intelligence and vet security threats, and is then passed on to local law enforcement agencies and school districts, respectively.

The suspicious activity reporting feature mentioned in this article will have a separate application in the future, according to an article by NBCDFW. The iWatch Texas application, along with an official overview, can be found by clicking here.

Are you developing an application that can save lives? Did you know your R&D experiments could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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