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TPD launches new 'Bystander' app to help curb crime

Posted at 8:01 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 20:01:38-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A move towards transparency. It's what city of Tallahassee leaders hope to accomplish with the bystander app.

The idea sparked after conversations with activist following deadly officer involved shootings locally, the death of George Floyd and protests during 2020.

"This is another great example of Tallahassee Police Department and the City of Tallahassee working hand in hand with the citizens to build more trust and transparency in how we operate on a day to day basis," said Mayor John Dailey.

The app will allow people to stream their interactions with police.
Along with adding up to three emergency contacts who will get alerts and be able to review the stream while it's happening.

A copy of the stream will save to their phone as a video. The other TPD will have direct access to. The other purpose of the app is engagement.

Creating an anonymous way that people can share videos with police connected to crimes or anything suspicious.

While the city hopes this is a step in better relationships, activists like Trish Brown have some doubts.

"This app is going to create more social profiling, as far as policing and vigilantes," said Brown.

For those afraid the department will not take action when use of force is caught on camera Commissioner Curtis Richardson said that will not be the case.

"It's just one of those things that we put in place to improve our relationship with the community," said Richardson.

With members of the Tallahassee Citizens Advisory council calling the app a much needed tool to help fight crime.

"I think it's very great, I think it's an awesome idea, and I also think, and hope and pray, individual citizens in Tallahassee, especially our most vulnerable, will make full proof of it," said Pastor Rudolph Furgeson of the citizens review board.