New Round Lake Park police app invites public to connect
Round Lake Park police have another tool to help them connect with the public.
After about a month of testing, on Thursday the department went live with MyPD, a free application available for Android and iPhones.
The app allows residents or others to connect with Round Lake Park police from their own devices.
What type of information is distributed or collected is a work in progress, but the first step is letting its availability be known.
"This is still going to be a vetting process with the community about what's relevant," said Chief George Filenko.
"We're going to look for feedback about what's good (or) what people want to see."
News ranging from weather alerts to locations of sex offenders in the community can be distributed, Filenko said.
Through the app, the public can share tips or photos -- anonymously, if desired -- about developing situations.
The app has 40 potential features that can be turned on or off by the department depending on what it wants to display at certain times.
It has links to topics such as victim resources, and screens can be updated with pictures of wanted or missing persons, for example.
"What people tend to do is start dialing 911," Filenko said. "This way, it's right there in front of you. It takes two seconds to type a message and send it."
There is no advertising, and users do not need to share personal information or set up an account, Filenko added.
Round Lake Park police officers will distribute business cards supplied by the app provider, WiredBlue, that explain how it works.
The app will be promoted at businesses, in newsletters and village information, and public events like National Night Out.
MyPD is not a social media platform but has some interactive features, such as users being able to "unlock" badges and climb in rank.
Aurora, Hanover Park, Lake in the Hills, Oak Brook and Rolling Meadows police already offer the app.
Filenko said the cost for the one-year contract is about $650, which will come from the department's asset forfeiture fund.
See the department's Facebook page, check out MyPDapp.com or visit the app store and search for MyPD.