INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) has signed on to their adoption of the Relay platform, piloting in the North district. Relay users covered by these neighborhoods will now see an enhanced experience, being able to directly connect with first responders nearby, receive geographically-targeted Broadcasts with pictures and public safety information, and even get status updates as first responders look into reported safety concerns.
"IMPD is looking to enhance the safety of officers and their neighbors by giving first responders better information before they arrive to handle calls for service," Relay CEO DJ Muller said. "With so many calls for body cams these days, there's still not a way to get a picture of the scene to first responders before they arrive. That's where Relay comes in, letting officers make a game plan in advance."
Beyond the first responder safety advantages, Relay provides an outlet for times when people might otherwise dial 911 for a non-emergency situation, clogging up phone lines and putting people who are in life-threatening situations on hold at the worst possible time. Dispatchers universally report that the vast majority of calls for service are non-emergencies, and Indianapolis' Marion county center– one of the busiest public safety answering points in the country– is no exception.
"The fact you don’t know how to change the batteries in your fire alarm is not a 911 call. The fact you don’t know where you parked your car at the mall is not a 911 call. But you’ll have days where it seems that’s all you get," says Amanda, a dispatcher who's been in the role for more than 8 years.
Indianapolis residents have already begun to use Relay to enhance their neighborhood watch and patrol programs, too. Neighborhoods are using the direct connection to police as a substitute for noisy social networks like Nextdoor, where first responders can't see neighborhood discussion, a drawback for when neighbors are surfacing safety concerns.
Launched in late January of 2020, Relay believes in creating more positive interactions between first responders and the neighbors they serve, no matter their background. Relay works anywhere in the United States, and allows non-emergency reporting of safety concerns directly to nearby first responders, and allows direct communication between those first responders and their neighbors. Relay is currently working directly with agencies in 17 states, and has already connected tens of thousands of neighbors with first responders across the country.