Cambridge Police Launch New Smartphone App

Hoping to connect with Cambridge’s many college students, the Cambridge Police Department officially launched their new smartphone application, My Police Department, or MyPD.

“The college students are the big smartphone users,” said CPD Director of Communications and Media Relations Daniel M. Riviello. “We want to evolve in the way that communication evolves.”

MyPD, available free of charge on all iPhones and Androids, allows locals to report information about crimes related to drugs, bullying, graffiti, and traffic issues. Residents can also submit a picture or GPS coordinates along with their tip.

In addition to reporting tips, residents can ask for directions, provide feedback, and look at profiles of their neighborhood sergeants.

Riviello said that since MyPD’s soft launch earlier this month, the CPD has seen an uptick in tips reported.

“We’ve received a lot of tips,” said Riviello, who credits this influx to the new application’s user friendly design.

“People don’t pick up and call about mundane things,” he said.

The CPD hopes the app will foster “accessibility and communication” between the department and the public, according to a press release.

“Residents and businesses can now access important information and communicate with Cambridge Police from the palm of their hand as we continue to share more information and increase interaction between the community and the police,” Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas said in the statement.

The app, designed by Peabody Police Department Detective Peter Olson, comes at little cost to the CPD.

“We pay less than $1,000 a year to be a part of this service,” said Riviello, adding that it would take $20-30,000 for the CPD to create its own program.

Riviello said that while the CPD hopes that the application will be used throughout Cambridge, the Police Department is most concerned with users’ experience.

“If the app brings the people value, and it brings us value, then it is worth it,” Riviello said.

—Staff writer Julia K. Dean can be reached at juliadean@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Amy Q. Friedman can be reached at afriedman@college.harvard.edu

Tags