DeSoto Parish Sheriff Jayson Richardson recently launched a mobile App for DeSoto Parish that has proven successful among citizens, and abroad. The “DeSoto Sheriff App” provides citizens with instant alerts ranging from Missing Children, Most Wanted, Road Closures, Vaccination Locations, and more. Working alongside many local agencies, information is immediately pushed out to a citizens’ phone screen. These alerts have provided for a safer and more trusting community. In 2018, Sheriff Richardson launched the “Bringing Joye” initiative which works with organizations such as Circle of Hope to offer engagement and activities with our special needs citizens. Now, we have incorporated a feature within our app to ensure the safety of our special needs community as well. Many citizens with Autism or Downs Syndrome may not respond well to loud noises. Some are hearing impaired, or suffer from PTSD. We saw a need to provide a safer pathway of response, taking those needs into consideration. Citizens may now provide information about a loved one to our dispatchers. In the event of a future emergency, that address is flagged while responding. This ensures the safest possible scenario for everyone involved. Sheriff Richardson said, “Clear communication is the cornerstone of a positive relationship between law enforcement and the citizens we serve. In today’s world, everyone has a cell phone and rumors can quickly deteriorate trust. We found a way to keep the rumor mill in check by delivering information in real time. If the end result is nothing more than a well-informed parish, that is rewarding enough for us.”