CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The Cabarrus County Sheriff Department launched a new app Monday that serves as a one-stop-shop for all things public safety-related in the county.
According to the Pew Research Institute, 94% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 own a smartphone, and most people have between 60-90 apps on their phones. They also found people spend 3.5 hours on their phones every day. With this in mind, Sheriff Van Shaw thought it would be effective to create an app for the Sheriff department for people to access public information.
“Obviously people are getting their information through apps, whether it’s the news, the weather, sports, whatever the case may be,” said Sheriff Shaw.
The app, called Cabarrus County Sheriff, allows people to submit crime and drug tips, access directory information and hotlines, search up inmates, sex offenders, and reports, register for gun permits, schedule inmate visitation, and apply for a job within the Sheriff Office. It also allows the Sheriff’s Office to send push notifications alerting the public to public safety events in their area.
“If someone is arrested in our detention center, an individual can go on the app, look up/do a search of that inmate, and set up notifications,” said Sheriff Shaw. “It serves as a great resource for victims of crime to be able to keep track with their case.”
Sheriff Shaw says he’s been working with an app developer for about six months to bring the app to life. It’s free to download and costs the department about $30,000 over three years. Sheriff Shaw says the department received a technology grant that fully covers the cost of the app, so for the first three years, it will come at no cost to taxpayers.
“We feel like a 3-year period at no cost to the citizens really gives us a chance to evaluate the data,” he said. “It’s another means of education and community outreach for us.”