For the application that I am choosing to design for this course, I have decided to make an application that will improve the level of accountability that we as citizens hold when it comes to law enforcement. Because the issue that I decided to discuss is very large in terms of issues and solutions, I decided to try and create an app that focused on something tangible within the realm of issues. In doing that, I found that the idea of having the ability to hold law enforcement accountable for their interactions with the public would be the best way to go. So this is where my idea for the Stop & Check application originated from.
The Stop & Check app is designed to put the power back in the hands of the people. In a basic overview, by downloading the app, people will have the ability to record and review the interactions of police officers in their area. Through geo-tracking and location based services, as well as using the public police database of officer names and things of that nature, a person would be able to report a positive or negative experience with a police officer as well as provide a rating experience on several areas of police and civilian activity. With the ability to be accessed through any smartphone or handheld app-bearing technological devices, the range and reach of the application will be very wide. Also holding the ability of a 911 emergency response as well a non-emergency police line (directed via location by the device’s GPS system), this app also serves as a way to communication with police in the traditional and more formal settings. The app will also feature a police station and law enforcement locator to further assist someone, should they be in need.
In thinking of who could find use with this application, I believe that the resources that it provides are truly beneficial for everyone, both civilians and law enforcement. As a civilian, you have access to key information and data on the police officers in your area. As n member of law enforcement, you have access to real-time information on how your staff and fellow officers interact with the people they are sworn to protect and serve. However, seeing that I would be creating an application to be downloaded on a smartphone or touchscreen device, I known that I must be more specific with the audience I intend to engage. My target audience for this application would be lower to middle class males and females between the ages of 18-35. I decided upon this based on information for a US Today article and the ages of men that fell victim to police brutality during a seven year period; the majority of these men where between the ages of 20-40. The full graph is listed below ((Hoyer, 2014, p. 5):
In looking at how my application will help aid in decreasing the amount of police brutality in the African American community, I believe that there are several issue brought up in my last paper that could be address with the application. Cassandra Chaney & Ray V. Robertson found that contempt for police officers varies in levels which then guide one’s way of thinking, and most people do not take the proper steps to expressing their views or reporting injustice or inconsistences in treatment that they see (Cheney, 2013, p. 487). With the creation of the Stop & Check app, citizen will not only have a place to film claims and expression their views, but also share their experiences so that other are aware and do not make similar mistakes in the same situation. For example: if I report that a certain officer became more assertive when a male was present with a female, rather than just two females, this information could assist a couple during a traffic stop to know how to approach this officer in their own encounters. On the other end, the police station that this officer works in can use this information to address an inappropriate behavior that was reported and supplemental testimony on the officer’s actions. This helps tie into the issues noted in a report by Sinisa Malesevic (2013), where the author notes, “No human being lightly tolerates unfair and non-reciprocal relationships” (p. 286). By allowing citizens a fair to report unfair treatment as it occurs and directly to the source, this helps deal with this issues of we as a people not feeling that the wrongs taken out against as seen justice.
Chaney, C., & Robertson, R. (2013). Racism and Police Brutality in America. Journal Of African American Studies, 17(4), 480-505. doi:10.1007/s12111-013-9246-5
Hoyer, K., & Heath, B. (2014). Local police involved in 400 killings per year. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/14/police-killings-data/14060357/
Malesevic, S. (2013). Forms of brutality: Towards a historical sociology of violence. European Journal of Social Theory