Embracing technology to keep community and deputies safe

Embracing technology to keep community and deputies safe

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Potter and Randall County Sheriff's Departments are embracing technology to help keep the community safe.

Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and even a mobile app, are being incorporated into daily routines to help update residents about crime in their neighborhood.

Randall County Sheriff Joel Richardson said it was the Bastrop fire in 2011 that really got him thinking about the importance of social media.

"Though Facebook and Twitter, they were able to accomplish 80 to 90% of their evacuations, so that  goes to show you how important that is," he told us.

Since then, it's been his mission to develop a social media presence to help better protect his county.

"We put wanted people on there each week, on our Facebook page. We map burglaries just so people can look and see if they've had any activity in their area," Richardson said. 

But Randall County isn't the only place using technology to keep people informed.
The Potter County Sheriff's Office has a free app, called Mobile Patrol, that you can download on Itunes.

Once it's on your mobile device, you can use to check out who is in the detention center, you can receive alerts about burn bans, and you can even submit an anonymous crime tip.

However, it's not just social media that's being used to help keep people safe and informed. 

In the next few months, it will be real time video streaming in the Randall County sheriff's cars and on the DPS helicopter, that will keep Randall County deputies connected to dispatchers, even as they work in the field.

"It helps us plan our operations, particularly when there has been a natural disaster, it lets us plan those operations by video real time. The other thing is officer safety when we can look out the front of their car and see what's going on," Richardson explained. 

All different ways to keep everyone safe, connected and informed.

Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10