Local police department adds smartphone app

Technology allows Fairborn residents access to crime maps, more.

The Fairborn Police Department has launched a mobile application that allows residents to view crime maps, identify wanted or missing persons and receive emergency alerts from the department.

Sgt. Mark Stannard said the app, which rolled out last week, was designed to engage the Fairborn community in a new, modern way and to give the public a better understanding of what officers deal with on a day-to-day basis.

In the last two decades, the Fairborn Police Department has reached out to the public through community policing, public forums, citizen adivsory boards, citizen police academies, ride-along programs and youth academies, Stannard said. The app is one more way of accomplishing that goal, he said.

“If you’re not out there trying to reach them, they’re not necessarily going to come to you,” Stannard said. “You have to be where they’re going, where they’re looking — otherwise you’re going to get passed by.”

The Fairborn PD app is modeled after similar apps used by larger departments on the west coast. As far as Stannard knows, no other department in the Miami Valley has anything quite like this.

In a few weeks, Stannard said, the app will be updated to allow anyone to submit a tip anonymously.

Fifteen-year-old Kaylen Stockdale said she and her friends said she is not sure whether she would feel comfortbale using the app, even if it is anonymous.

“For weeks, I would be paranoid,” Stockdale said. “I would be wondering, ‘Could the person know who I am?’”

Others disagree.

“Some of these kids today think that police are a bad thing — they’re not. They need to know they’re there to help, not harm,” said Dana Smithson.

Smithson is from Springfield. She said that if Springfield Police or the Clark County Sheriff’s Office created a similar app, she would download it “quickly.”

The app is also a valuable tool for those looking for information on traffic crashes or incident reports, inter-department phone numbers and CCW courses.

Anyone with access to Google Play or the iTunes app store can download the app in seconds. Just search “Fairborn PD.”