The SaferWatch App is a new way for South Floridians to connect directly with local law enforcement, simply with the touch of a finger. And the app’s creator, Geno Roefaro believes the company’s “see something, send something” message resonates with users.
"SaferWatch is a free mobile app, available to residents and visitors in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County. It's actually available everywhere in the United States. Essentially what it is, is a tool that allows you to report suspicious activity, specious online activity, certain social media posts. If you have information about something that seems a little off, you can simply take a picture of it, write a text message, or take a screenshot and send it in to SaferWatch. That information goes directly to law enforcement, they review it, and take the appropriate action," said Roefaro.
So far, 10,00 people in Broward have downloaded the app, including people from 440 schools. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has over 500 users. The app is also featured in the airport and seaport. The Ft Lauderdale police department purchased safer watch for every resident and visitor of Ft Lauderdale. And Chief Rick Maglione knows the app can help his community on multiple levels.
"If you see something, say something. This is another avenue were you can remain anonymous and get tips to law enforcement, so we can play more in the prevention game than the reaction game. This is going to send out a special sound to your phone. Similar to an Amber Alert, it's going to make a sound that's going to grab your attention. Then we will be able to put out that information and description of who we are looking for and what occurred," said Chief Maglione.
When you report something in Broward it immediately goes to a real time monitoring center that receives the info and decides how to process it. In fact, multiple arrests in Broward have come via SaferWatch tips. If you live outside of Broward and use the app, the information is processed, it’s just not handled in real time, yet. But SaferWatch is growing by leaps and bounds.
"We already have been very successful partnering with law enforcement. We do have a variety of other features, such as emergency live video. If you see something that is going on, you can record it in real time and that information transmits to law enforcement. It's not available right now in Fort Lauderdale. As law enforcements gear up and have real time crime centers in place, you start to see more and more technology like that," said Roefaro.
So if you’re thinking of sending something the next time you see something, Chief Maglione strongly encourages you to do so.
"This is not an replacement for 911, this is something to report tips. We want to make sure everybody knows, if you see an in-progress emergency going on, call 911," said Chief Maglione.
For more information about SaferWatch, head to flpdalerts.com or search SaferWatch app on Android or Apple.