CDR Technologies pulls plug on emergency alerts
Less than a year after the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) began to use the SHIELD app, the provider has taken the service offline.
© Nathan Liewicki
A Moose Jaw Police Service officer takes photos of a motor vehicle accident on the Trans-Canada Highway, east of Moose Jaw at the Manitoba Expressway Merge in August 2013. The SHIELD app sent out an alert following this accident.
Designed by CDR Technologies Inc., with the promotion of public safety as its prime motivation, the app derived from a concept Curtis Kemp, a retired police officer, created.
Free for smartphone users to download, the SHIELD app was supposed to produce alerts quicker than reading messages on Twitter or Facebook.
However, when it was used, by the MJPS – which was not very often – the media and the public already knew the information an alert unveiled.
“It was another tool that we had to keep the public informed of any events where we felt it was necessary to warn them of an incident,” Sgt. Cliff Froehlich said Friday. “We had used the SHIELD App on a few occasions, but we certainly rely on our current website and our Twitter accounts more than we had the SHIELD App.”
Froehlich noted it was CDR that decided to pull the app offline.
The Times-Herald attempted to contact Ryan Hnetka, president of CDR, to discuss the reasons behind the decision to scrap the SHELD app, but the phone number listed on the company’s website is no longer in service. Our emails have also yet to be responded to.
Although the MJPS will no longer be sending out notifications via SHIELD, Froehlich noted the recent plunge into the Twittersphere has been a great tool to use to communicate information back to the public.
He added that police continue to work on tweeting out information at a quicker rate for things such as collisions.
“Our Twitter account and our tweeting is a work in progress,” said Froehlich. “We're trying to keep the public informed and updated as soon as we can.”
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks