Emergency 911 App Aims to Transform the Way You Call for Help


I know we’ve all thought to ourselves: what would we do in a situation where we can’t dial 911? Whether it be because your assailant would hear you or because you don’t have enough time to get the phone out and dial, it’s a valid question.

How about an app that not only alerts the authorities, but allows them to see and hear everything your phone is seeing and hearing? Oh, and it’ll also get your GPS location in order to make it easier for help to find you. The police dispatcher can then send this information to those in squad cars who are close to you.

I imagine it’s not much more than a widget or a simple app. Initially, select students at College Park’s University of Maryland will be able to participate, but the police department aims to make it available to all Android and iPhone users at the end of trials.

Chief of Police for the campus, David Mitchell, says you can use the app as a preventative measure, as well. If you need to walk back to your dorm late at night and you’re uneasy, simply activate the app and allow them to monitor you. You then simply turn it off if you happen to make it back to your dorm safely.

He also assures everyone that the app is not “Big Brother” in disguise and that they have nothing to worry about as far as privacy goes. It’ll be interesting to see how accepting users are of this and to see if the tool really is effective.

Unfortunately, even if it is successful a majority of safety-conscious citizens probably won’t be seeing something like this from their local police department for a long time, if not at all. The app will be called M-Urgency and will be a free download and service once it does launch. [WTOP, Thanks Greg!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Interesting concept. The only problem is if it were to roll out to a larger population it would likely turn into a “Big Brother” in disguise sort of situation.

    1. What does that even mean?

      1. I am quite sure this was as straight forward as you can get!

        1. Sorry are you OP?

          1. Now I know I need to strap on my tin foil hat.

      2. He means when they release it nationwide, the app will be like a kinder older brother to you and teach you right from wrong. It might also buy you cool toys for your birthday. That’s all he meant.

        1. Oh ok cool.
          I was thinking I had to fire up Alex Jones and get my Tin Foil Hat on.

        2. ^ this was sarcasm

  2. I think it’s helpful to give people the option to text 911 through an app that automatically provides the GPS location.

    However, I think having a dispatcher monitor you before you even have an emergency is a major waste of tax payer money.

    1. While i could be wrong, i took it more as the phone ( or maybe even a computer at the dispatcher, monitors you, and if you don’t tern it off, THEN it alerts the dispatchers.

      Or even if a dispatcher is personally monitoring it, i wouldn’t be surprised if it more of a background program (for them) that alerts them only when something is wrong, like when you scream or don’t turn it off, and that the dispatcher aren’t just sitting there twitling there thumbs wasting time.

      but that is non-cynic in me, lol

  3. “You then simply turn it off if you happen to make it back to your dorm safely.”

    If you happen… very optimistic

  4. Next they’ll be using it to track people speeding and catch them that way. May be good got high speed chard if the person had the app. Lol

  5. that will come in handy in some areas. just north of my town they have a cereal rapist(s) on the loose. It is all happening around the University of Michigan campus. I would imagine how many people would be using this app as it could possible help catch these morons.

    1. what kind of cereal does he rape?

      1. Cheerios. He likes their “o” face.

  6. govt doesnt need that kinda power right now. as soon as some ppl opt in they’re gonna start thinking about passing some crooked law that makes it possible for them to do it with every phone.
    well, maybe here and now is the time for that. get these crooked ppl to make moves in an age where info moves as fast as the speed of light.

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