Colonel Timothy P. Alben and the Massachusetts State Police announced Sunday morning the release of a brand new smartphone application for residents to stay up to date with real-time alerts as situations arise.
The Massachusetts State Police app, which was unveiled Sunday and is rolling out formally later this week, will have a function MSP officials say no other law enforcement agency is using: Push Notification with Geo-fencing. This will enable state police to immediately notify residents with real-time alerts that are geographically configured. You will need to allow push notifications and use of location data when prompted to use this feature.
“One thing that is important to know right now, however, is that allowing location data in no way violates the app user's privacy rights,” officials said in a statement released Sunday morning. “We do not have the ability -- nor the desire -- to track individual users, and nor will we ever use our app to do so in the future. The sole purpose of the MSP application is to deliver information related to public safety and the department.”
State Police officials say the geo-fencing push technology will be an imperative part of MSP's public communication strategy for major events, including the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Other functions the app will have, according to MSP: An alert function that places a Massachusetts State Police notification at the top of your phone, on the lock screen, to let you know we have issued an alert. Opening that icon will open the State Police Mobile Application. In sending an alert State Police can send a traffic advisory, advising users of a backup that may lead them to consider taking alternate route. They can also send you directly to one of their blogs (MSP hosts two blogs, one written by Colonel Alben at MSPcolonel.com and the other, maintained by the Office of Media Relations at MSPnews.org, where press releases can be found). They will also use the app to post pictures of missing persons or wanted suspects. And there is also a function to send tips about illegal activity to us.
You can download the app and check it out starting today: