Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Updates Coming Soon to Mobile App

Recently a text message in the area was sent to 911 and police did not receive a response from the sender.  To track the message took a significant amount of time.  Although everything worked out, this brought to light the way we do things. (The message was not sent from the Middleton Police App but text to 911 works the same in both)

In the very near future, I will be updating the Middleton Police Mobile App.  

Text to 911 was designed for emergencies when folks cannot talk or do not have enough phone signal to call but can text.  It should only be used in Emergency Situations.  An example of when you are encouraged to use it is when your house is broken into and you are hiding inside or during a domestic incident when you can't place a call.  Another would be a medical emergency when you can't speak.

I will announce when our updates are live but what I did was create three buttons:  police, fire and medical emergency.  When you select each button there is a message that is copied to your messaging program on your phone that will say:  There is a police emergency at:  the text will contain the longitude, lattitude and accuracy of your gps device attached to your phone. (You will have to allow us to access your location)

This will give 911 an indication of what services are needed and they can obtain further dialog with you to get details.

While one should call 911 in an emergency when needed, this allows a resource when you can't make that call.  Once again a first in the country by providing high end location data.

I am in the testing phases now and will have more in the near future.

When this is fully functional I will dress it up a little and make it prettier. 
Once I am back to work, I will show the end result of the message so I don't broadcast my home address over the world wide web.  

Always remember that text to 911 is not perfect.  If you receive an error message, call 911.  You don't have to say anything, just leave the line open.  

If you don't have the Middleton Police Mobile App you can download the App free at these locations:

Friday, July 1, 2016

Missing Juvenile

UPDATE:  He has been found

Dylan is missing again in the Hampshire Shores, Pinkham Road area.  If seen please call Dispatch at 603 473 8288.  Police units are in the area.

Mobile App

For the folks that are using our mobile app, you probably noticed that the software was recently updated.  Apple issued their update yesterday after an extensive review process.  I will be turning the switch tonight.  When you open the mobile app it asks for a username and password and just below is a button marked public login.  Select the Public Login button only.  This will bring you to the features you have now.

As part of the Developer License process the Developer is required to let you know what features we are asking to use in your phone.  I think it is important to explain what we are doing and why you should allow it.  First and formost, we do not track users.  If we need to track a cellphone, we go through the court or emergency process and work directly with the cell carrier.  We have no need to track at the local level.

We ask to use your location so when we send emergency alerts to specific areas, you receive that alert.  An example of this would be a 2:00 am call involving dangerous firearms.  If I needed to do an emergency alert, I might just target the area where it is necessary vs. waking up all our users.

Our alert system allows us to send emergency notifications to all users, neighborhoods we select and allows us to set up a notification when you arrive in a certain area.  If you don't allow location information information you will only receive general notifications.

The next process we ask to do is send notifications.  If you select yes, you will receive them.  If you select no, you will not receive them.  This is the whole reason we developed the app.  We at times need to reach the public in real time with instant information.  While we push this information to our social media, we cannot guarantee immediate notification as we don't control the social media.

The only thing we can see from the server side is how many users are in a certain area.  For instance if I posted a road closure in front of the town hall for a 5 mile radius I could see how many Apple and Google users were in that 5 mile area.  I can't see where or who they are.  Anyone who is skeptical is welcome to stop in and see me anytime and I will fire up the server so you can see with your own eyes.

Lastly we ask to access your texts, photos and emails.  This is so you can use the app to communicate with us.  For instance I added a text to 911 feature for times when folks don't have enough signal to call or can't talk.  This allows our software to use your phone at your command.  I can't see your texts photos etc that are stored on your phone nor do we want to.

As we expand our training with the new school, all our officers will be able to send emergency notifications via this blog that will be pushed to the mobile app and out to facebook and twitter.  Our primary point of communication with the public will be via the mobile app.  When needed we will also place Reverse 911 calls via the 911 center to surrounding areas for our folks that don't have phones or computers.

It is important to note that during a critical emergency it is all hands on deck.  We are going a mile a minute.  While we get information out, we are most likely not monitoring the comments.  We will update information when it is important and when we can.  Our primary focus is life safety.

Because of this, I added a scanner function in the mobile app.  If you need to know what is going on, you can monitor the scanner portion of the app.  This does use data and may cost you if you are on a data plan.  It does not cost if you phone is connected to a wifi hot spot.

Please do not call Dispatch during a crisis.  During the Hostage Situation a few years ago our dispatch was deluged with calls which takes the dispatcher away from us.  To avoid this, we created our social media program including the mobile app to get real time information out.

If you are not using our mobile app and have an Iphone or Android Phone, I would encourage you to download it.  In the weblinks section you can follow all the news about town.  You can view the Town and Fire Department facebook accounts, the Town Website, the Police Page as well as our social media pages.  There are links on there for the Selectmen and their minutes as well.  You can get turn by turn directions to our facilities, neighboring departments, courts and hospitals.  You can also email us, send tips and photos of suspicious activity.

You can download the app from these locations:

Our Mobile App Download Links:

Appstore: com/us/app/middleton-police/id614733056?ls=1&mt=8


Friday, June 24, 2016

Missing Juvenile located with help from social media

On today's date at 2:11 p.m. members of the Middleton Police received a call of a missing autistic six year old child from the Hampshire Shores Development.

Officers from the Wakefield Police as well as Milton Police responded to assist us in the search.  The Strafford County Bloodhound, Jasper and his handler, Sgt. Kerkensen  were also requested to respond. 

 We also communicated with the State Police SERT team, a specialized mobile team of the NH State Police who specialize in missing person searches.  Had a K-9 search failed, the team would have been activated 

Members of the Department turned to their social media tools and sent out a emergency alert over the Middleton Police Mobile App requesting members of the community to keep an eye out for the child.  Our social media tools allowed us to send a photograph of the child.  Within a short period of time, our community members immediately started sharing the posts which reached thousands of viewers.

At 2:52 P.M. a teenage resident of the Butler Ave area saw the young child in a wooded area behind her residence.  She immediately notified the police.  The child was located safely 7 minutes after that sighting in a wooded area.  He was evaluated by Middleton EMS and returned safely to his parents.

The successful return of the child was a direct result of the cooperative efforts of our law enforcement partners.  Most importantly we are greatly appreciative for our loyal and dedicated community members who kept a diligent watch and answered our call for help from the community.  That effort is what makes Middleton a great town and in this case, returned a missing child in a short period of time. 

The actions of the child are a cause and effect of his illness.  During the past we have attempted to attach a gps tracking device to the child however he has removed them.  We are currently speaking with Town Management and hope to have a fundraiser in the near future hosted by the Middleton Police Association  that will allow us to purchase the necessary tracking equipment for the child that can be suited to his needs.  I will post this effort in an upcoming blog.

Thanks again to all that answered our call for help.  Without your efforts our job would be more tedious. 

Missing Juvenile

He had been located safe.  EMS has been toned as a precaution only!

This six year old took off from his residence in the Pinkham Road area.  He is only dressed in white underwear.  Police units are out in the area and a bloodhound unit is enroute.  Please call dispatch at 603 473 8288 if you see him 

Missing Juvenile

This six year old took off from his residence in the Pinkham Road area.  He is only dressed in white underwear.  Police units are out in the area and a bloodhound unit is enroute.  Please call dispatch at 603 473 8288 if you see him 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Exciting Changes Coming to Our Mobile App

I updated the Middleton Police Mobile App this morning with some exciting changes.  If you are a user of the mobile app, your Android Phone or Iphone will automatically notify you of the update.  the Android update will post within 24 hours while the Apple side has to go through an intensive screening process by Apple.  That can take up to 20 days.

The biggest change the public user will see is we now have a log in screen.  This was build so that I could assign user rights.  The public will have the same great features and will only have to select the Public Login Button.  No user name or registration is required.  Simply hit the public login button once and your mobile app will function the way it does now.

The screen will look like below:

While the public will not see many changes, the login screen allows me to add features that are only available to specific groups.  For example, police will have access to their emergency checklists.  I can add an emergency contact secton where we have all the names and phone numbers in the field of our local state and federal partners.  We can also load pre-plans etc that will only be available to folks who we have given user rights to.

I have also created a panic button that will be available to staff at the school if they chose to use it.  The panic button will alert 911 and the police to a critical emergency.  It will provide us with a message and location information of the emergency within 15 feet of where the user deploys it.

I also perfected the user subscriptions and groups.  Subscriptions are public messages where we post notices.  You can receive all or choose what to receive or not receive.  All the messages show up in the alert section so you can see what we send however you will not be bothered with the notification if you so choose.

Groups are people who we have assigned to a group who will be the only one to receive the message.  For example I can send an alert for all off duty police personnel to report to a command post and send gps coordinates and a map of the command post.  I can also blast a photo of a missing child or wanted person to all police personnel.

If you are not using the mobile app, I would encourage you to do so.  We do not track location information or user information of the public.  I would encourage you to receive push notifications and allow location information.  This allows you to receive important information that we blast to your neighborhood only.   If someone has concerns and wants to see what goes on behind the scenes, I would be happy to have you come in and show you the console so that you can see what we can see.

Our mobile app created in house is the most comprehensive mobile app in the country.  We have features that are not available in other commercial products anywhere.  Our application allows for critical incident management and through the same program allows us to send real time accurate information to the public and private information to members during critical incident management.

You can download the app free of charge by searching the play store on an Android Device or the App store on the iphone for Middleton Police.