Metro sheriff’s department, emergency management launch new public safety app

Moore County citizens now have a new way to get Lynchburg-specific public safety alerts and breaking news right from their smartphones with the Metro Moore County Public Safety app. (Art Provided)

LOCAL NEWS — In an emergency, Moore County citizens need fast, reliable information and a new collaboration between the Metro Moore County Sheriff’s Department and Metro Emergency Management Agency puts all that information at a citizens fingertips in a single location.

After several weeks of testing, the two departments launched the Metro Moore Public Safety smartphone app on Wednesday. It is live and available for free download for both Apple and Android phones. Just search for Metro Moore PSA TN in either the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Small town, big technology

OVC, a company that specializes in mobile app development for law enforcement, public safety, emergency management, and public health agencies, developed the app for Moore County.

“The company produces similar apps in several states and for the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association, so we knew it was a stable platform,” Sheriff Tyler Hatfield said. “Director Deal and I thought it would be a great way to get good information out to our citizens as quickly as possible.”

Sheriff Hatfield says no taxpayer funds were used to pay to the app development. Instead, the sheriff’s department paid their portion with department revenues and the EMA used grant money.

Developers divided the app into three sections: one devoted to the sheriff’s department communications, one devoted to Metro EMA communication, and a social media section, which combines all Metro Public Safety Facebook pages into a single feed.

On the law enforcement side, the app offers a place to get information on inmates at the Moore County Jail and view the Moore County’s Sexual Offender Registry. Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip or give community feedback. All comments submitted through the app go directly to Sheriff Hatfield and are not publicly published.

Deputies will also use the app in the field.

On the EMA side, citizens can follow computer-aided dispatch (CAD) calls to identify the location of status of emergency calls in the community. During a severe weather event, citizens can also enter damage reports. The apps also links to the state’s Smart Way system, which monitors conditions on all state highways. It also offers a CPR reference guide that audibly guides citizens through the resuscitation steps.

Like the sheriff’s department side, the EMA side provides a comments and concerns section where citizens can send input directly to Public Safety Director Jason Deal. EMA employees will also use the app in the field.

The app links into the National Weather Service office in Huntsville and provides instant information to all Moore County specific severe weather watches and warnings. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only daily newspaper in Lynchburg. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}