NYPD iPhone app takes crime-fighting mobile

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The New York Police Department is pretty tech savvy for a government agency. Last fall, it launched a smartphone registration program to help track down stolen iPhones. And this month, it’s released its own iPhone application.

The app, which is simply titled ‘NYPD,’ sports a number of useful features for New York City residents including a photo gallery of wanted criminals, and breaking news. And you can even use it to submit anonymous crime tips…

From the App Store description:

Download the official app of the New York City Police Department. The mission of the New York City Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in New York City by working in partnership with the community and in accordance with constitutional rights to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment.

  • Wanted gallery
  • Submit a tip
  • Crime videos
  • Breaking news
  • NYPD on Facebook
  • Inside the NYPD videos
  • Precinct crime statistics
  • Precinct boundaries
  • Link to recruitment website

As you’d expect, NYPD’s UI is pretty bad, but the app still both easy-to-use and helpful. It offers contact numbers for several local emergency services and directions to the nearest police precent. It also offers breaking news via push notifications.

I have to admit, the app is kind of fun to play around —and I don’t even live in New York. There are photos, sketches and descriptions of wanted criminals, and a list of rewards offered to folks who help lead the NYPD to the arrest of criminals.

I think all major cities should have something like this.

If you want to try it out for yourself, you can find NYPD in the App Store, for your iPhone, for free.