GPD_app

Pictured is a screenshot of an app, Gainesville (FL) Police, released by the Gainesville Police Department on Tuesday. 

Robert Lewis, Alligator Staff

Gainesville residents and visitors can now get traffic updates and alerts on sexual offenders through a new app.

Gainesville Police Department, released the free app Gainesville (FL) Police, for iOS and Android devices on Dec. 1, but waited to announce it until Tuesday so that it could be tested and evaluated by the staff. App users can also view information about crimes that occurred within the city limits, file reports for crimes that aren’t emergencies and submit tips directly to investigators.

The app’s GPS allows users to view sexual offenders and predators in the area, showing individual sex offenders’ locations through red pins on a map. It provides the name, photo and description of the sex offender, as well as the distance the app user is from the person’s home.

GPD’s app also gives real-time traffic information from the Gainesville and Alachua County SmartTraffic website, according to the press release.

Though it worked when the app was released, the traffic conditions feature currently has problems. The information for this section of the app is taken directly from SmartTraffic’s system, Officer Ben Tobias, a GPD spokesperson, wrote in an email. Tobias said he is in the process of fixing the issue.

Other tabs have facts on how to prevent crimes, contact information, links to GDP social media accounts and lists of upcoming events.

GPD has worked with developers to produce the app since this past summer, Tobias said. The cost of developing the app was just under $6,000 and covered by funds collected by police during crimes, he said.

“We wanted to give folks the easiest possible way to find information and services,” he said. “(The app’s) push notifications are the most effective way for us to relay critical information in an emergency.”

Contact Robert Lewis at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Lewis__Robert.