Bitwise Solutions donates crime prevention app to IMPD

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - It's something Officer David Bolling sees every day.

“The vast majority of our runs are non-criminal in nature,” said Bolling, who patrols IMPD’s north district.

While violent crime may seem to be the focus of police, Bolling says most of his calls involve arguments or other issues stemming from poverty, substance abuse or other social issues.

“A lot of the problems that we encounter aren't things that can be mediated, nor can we arrest to solve the problem,” said Bolling.

But a new app might help. When officers encounter people who need social services, they'll be able to enter a name into a database.

“Really the goal is this ‘prefer to refer’ idea,” said Ron Brumbarger, owner of Bitwise Solutions. The Carmel-based web developer is behind the design of the new app. That referral he mentioned will then be sent to police headquarters where the social need can be matched with one of the dozens of non-profit organizations in the city.

“It's a new way of thinking about police work,” said Lt. Brian Churchhill, who leads IMPD's newly-created Community Engagement Office where officers focus on social issues. He says the new technology could “revolutionize” the way police work to prevent crimes.The idea is to prevent an officer from showing up to a home time after time and reduce or even eliminate crime.

“Help fix the problem that led to the 911 call and then he doesn't have to come back again later, because you've not only dealt with the issue at hand, you've come up with a solution to the problem that led to the 911 call,” said Churchill.

Bitwise Solutions is providing the app to IMPD, free of charge.

“If it saves a life, mission accomplished. If it helps kids over here get access to heat and food and clothing, in the middle of winter...like we're going to see this coming weekend, mission accomplished...why wouldn't we do that?” explained Brumbarger.

That technology will be in the hands of officers in about two weeks.

“It seems like a natural fit to get another tool in our hands,” said officer Bolling.

It may very well make Indianapolis a safer place to live.

According to Bitwise Solutions, police departments nationwide, including in Seattle, Charlotte and NYPD are interesting in purchasing the technology.