Mercer students can now whip out their smart phones and keep in constant contact with campus and city police.
A new web-based app for mobile phones announced recently by the InTown Macon Neighborhood Association and Mercer Police allows students to contact Mercer Police and the Macon Police Department directly.
Ted Goshorn, vice president and president-elect for InTown Macon, said the idea for a mobile safety website came from a conversation with the board about wanting to increase response time for residents who observe criminal or suspicious activity.
This mobile application will work on all smartphones. Students visit the website and save the application to the home screen instead of downloading it from a wireless provider or Apple’s iTunes Store.
InTown Macon is encouraging all smartphone users to utilize the site because it is free and functions like an app.
Students have the option of calling Mercer Police, the non-emergency number for Macon Police or Judy Gordon, the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator.
“All you do is touch the app and it calls. We are hoping this will increase response rates,” Goshorn said.
To install the app, students can visit http://m.intownmacon.org and save the mobile website to the phone’s home screen.
This will add the application to the student’s phone. The app will then be denoted by the InTown Macon logo.
“Macon Police [are] really big on calling the non-emergency number any time a person sees suspicious activity,” Goshorn said.
Mercer students are encouraged to call Mercer Police if they see anything suspicious happening in the vicinity of campus, but this mobile website allows students, faculty and staff the option of calling either the Macon Police or Neighborhood Watch to report activity off-campus without having to call 9-11.
“We know that a lot of Mercer students have problems with their cars getting broken into, so if the opportunity is not there, the crime won’t happen. Students can now report things through this app,” Goshorn said.
InTown Macon hopes that the application will be beneficial to off-campus students as well as those living on campus.
Goshorn said that incidents of cars getting broken into recently occurred on several streets near the law school.
The break-ins were reported and Macon PD put police officers on top of the Massee apartment building with night vision goggles. The officers were able to apprehend three suspects that night and the problem stopped.
“Reporting to the non-emergency number is really valuable,” Goshorn said.
The launch of this mobile website was decided at a March board meeting of InTown Macon.
Gary Collins, Chief of Mercer Police, said that his department received a request to participate in the mobile website’s launch, and that they agreed.
Goshorn said the mobile website can be very beneficial.
“If students choose to make use of this, the increased amount of information flowing to the police departments can help. Awareness can only help.”
InTown Macon was established in 1974. The committee’s goal is to protect and improve the quality of life for Macon residents.
For more information or questions regarding the mobile website, students can contact InTown Macon at firstname.lastname@example.org.