New phone App promises to give people almost instant access to call for assistance if you are in Pinal County. The “National Neighborhood Watch,” a division of the National Sheriffs’ Association has partnered with a company called “ICE BlackBox,” to provide the app that turns your smartphone into a surveillance camera.
Originally designed for individual use, the app sends recordings and location information to one’s/a person’s emergency contacts at the touch of a button. A recent update has been added, that now allows users to alert law enforcement and neighborhood watch captains at the same time as you click “Dial 9-1-1.” This feature allows a deputy to be dispatched to a crime scene while you are still on the phone explaining the emergency to the 9-1-1 operator. Pinal County Sheriff’s Office ‐ First in the State to Offer ICE BlackBox Phone Application
The app communicates with the ICE BlackBox Portal. The portal includes a map of a designated area, and its purpose is to help local law enforcement and community watch groups view all recordings within that chosen area. When an individual opens the ICE BlackBox app on his/her phone and records and emergency incident, an icon is tagged on the portal map to indicate the incident location. After the icon appears on the portal, law enforcement or neighborhood watch captains can click on the portal icon to view the incident recording. They can then determine the gravity of the incident, and if necessary, send a deputy to the location within seconds.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is proud to have been chosen by the National Sheriffs’ Association to unveil this new technology aimed at keeping communities safer and providing deputies who are responding to calls with additional information needed to ensure those responsible for crimes are brought to justice. Initially we are trying this new technology with select block watch groups but in time it will be available to all residents in Pinal County who choose to download the app.”