Encountering the police in general can suck. But LAs ABC7 reports that the Los Angeles County Sheriffs are trying something a bit different to improve interactions between the public and police. A new app is being tested, allowing people to video call the officer pulling them over.
SafeStop is proud to announce our official partnership with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department and the City of West Hollywood. Come join our movement to de-escalate traffic stops, adding a new tool to the community’s modern tool box. Download our app today@WHDLASD @WeHoCity pic.twitter.com/inlfd7AGI4
— SafeStop (@SafeStopTraffic) September 20, 2023
The sheriff’s department in West Hollywood is using a new app from a company called SafeStop. While details on how exactly this all works are a little light, the gist of it is when an officer initiates a traffic stop on a motorist, the driver will open up the SafeStop app on their phones and initiate a video call that allows the officer and driver to talk without ever having to leave their vehicles. Data shows that the first few moments of a traffic stop are critical in how things go forward; even more so when the stops involve Black drivers.
In a statement, SafeStop said that the app gives drivers “the ability to take the lead on alerting police to their presence and creating transparency in the process.” But why is something like that the job of the driver to do? But mostly it’s so these encounters with law enforcement can go well and cooler heads can prevail. LA County Sheriffs West Hollywood Capt. William Moulder called the app “an innovative new tool for our Deputies to use in appropriate situations during traffic stops.” And to incentivize drivers to use it, SafeStop says that for a limited time the company will pay a percentage of a driver’s ticket when they use the app.
Update: A representative from SafeStop got back to us with a little more information on how the app works.
“The app uses location data to ensure that both the officer and driver are connected to each other correctly. The location is not actively tracked, it’s a snapshot of where the driver was when they click the call button.”
Image: KTLA News
…. to be continued
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