App opens new line of communication

A new app unveiled last week is designed to make it easier for the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office to communicate with citizens – and vice versa.

Unlike the social media accounts the office already uses to post information, the app is a tool to relay immediate alerts about car accidents, road closures and other incidents that may be of immediate use to community members. It’s also a means for people to link to other information sources such as court and jail databases.

“I think the app is going to play well with our social media. If you have that many social media posts, people will shut you down,” said Det. Chuck Love, public information officer. “With an app, if they’re good notifications, people will keep them.”

In one day last Wednesday, which happened to be the day of a significant winter storm, Love said communications officers in the 911 center posted alerts on the app about a road reopening to traffic; courthouse and refuse center closures; and a motor vehicle crash. Alerts continued the next day with a notice about a disabled train and three separate updates about the status of another crash.

The sheriff’s office decided to roll out the app as they were developing the SHIELD initiative, which will be a new way for community members to serve as eyes and ears about suspicious activities in neighborhoods. The initiative will launch in January, Love said, with the app serving as the means for citizens to report what they see and hear.

“This app provides us the platform to build a whole new level of information sharing with the citizens of Louisa County,” said Sheriff Donald Lowe.

Citizens can use the app to share tips with the sheriff’s office, anonymously or with contact information; get answers to frequently asked questions such as how to obtain a police report or take out a warrant; link to the Louisa General District Court website; look up a crash report; and more. 

The app can be downloaded from Google Play on an Android smartphone or from the App store on an iPhone. Type "Louisa County Sheriff's Office" in the search box to find the app.

Last updated on Dec. 28 at 10:48 a.m.

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