Colonel Timothy P. Alben and the Massachusetts State Police are proud to announce the release of our brand new smartphone application. The Massachusetts State Police app has many great features,… which we will highlight in a formal rollout later this week. Today, however, we will tell you that we have a function that no other law enforcement agency is using: Push Notifications with Geo-fencing. This will enable us to immediately notify you with real-time alerts that are geographically configured. For this feature, when you download the free app, you must allow push notifications and use of location data when prompted.
The geo-fencing push technology will be an imperative part of MSP’s public communication strategy for major events, including the 2014 Boston Marathon. Please consider sharing and downloading to receive, in real-time, potential alerts and notifications from the real source, the Massachusetts State Police. We will reveal more details of the MSP application, available for all smart phones, in the coming week. One thing that is important to know right now, however, is that allowing location data in no way violates the app user’s privacy rights. We do not have the ability — nor the desire — to track individual users, and nor will we ever use our app to do so in the future. The sole purpose of the MSP application is to deliver information related to public safety and the department.
Our application also has an alert function that does two things. First it places a Massachusetts State Police notification at the top of your phone, on the lock screen, to let you know we have issued an alert. Opening that icon will open the State Police Mobile Application. In sending an alert we can do a couple of things. We can send a traffic advisory, advising users of a backup that may lead them to consider taking alternate route. We can send you directly to one of our blogs (we host two blogs, one written by Colonel Alben at MSPcolonel.com and the other, maintained by the Office of Media Relations at MSPnews.org, where our press releases can be found). And of course, we will use the app to post pictures of missing persons or wanted suspects. There is also a function to send tips about illegal activity to us.
We will highlight more of the app as the week goes on. We’d love for you to download it and let us know what you think. Thank you for exploring the Massachusetts State Police online offerings.