ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new computer app is aiming to make it easier for police officers and sheriff’s deputies to find accused criminals who have warrants in and around Albuquerque.
The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office is nearly finished developing the app, which will allow law enforcement officers to map out the last known locations of accused criminals in their nearby range.
“This is an app that law enforcement since the dawn of time has wanted, to know who and where wanted subjects are,” said Kyle Hartsock, head of the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office’s Crime Strategies Unit.
For the last couple of years, computer programmers have been working on various technologies in the DA’s Office to help better understand and fight crime.
The latest “Fugitive Finder” app is designed to take Bernalillo County’s warrant data including, names, birthdays, last known addresses and other information and place it on a map that officers can use in the field.
“That’s what a tool like this is doing, is taking existing data and making it just 100 times more useful,” Hartsock said in an interview with KRQE News 13 Monday.
Chief Information Officer Paul Crickard helped build the application from the ground up for use on a computer. An Android developer, Joseph Peterson helped turn the app into a mobile app for cell phone use.
“I think this really will help narrow down who we should be going after and finding the people that have that impact on crime,” said Crickard.
The app is relatively simple, using an officer’s current location as a starting point. From there, the officer can look at any range of distance around them to see the last known locations of people who have warrants.
With a screen populated with icons, each icon represents a different person with their own unique vital information. The DA’s Office is also aiming to use a ranking system for each warrant, to determine the strength of the criminal case prosecutors have on each suspect.
“We can accomplish a lot when we sit down and actually try to bang these systems out,” said Crickard, who says the entire app so far, as been mainly developed by him and Peterson.
The DA’s Office hopes the app gives officers a better idea of who may have warrants in their current area.
“This specific tool is fantastic, but really the bigger picture is having this ability in house to create a tool like this, you can’t really measure what that’s going to do,” Hartsock said.
Hartsock says the DA’s Office is only planning to release the app to law enforcement right now. The tool is almost ready to go. The DA’s Office says it’s just waiting for the data from the county’s warrant system to get it started.
The development team also built the new app completely in-house, so the DA’s Office says it can export the technology to other police and sheriff’s departments in New Mexico.