Because situations aren't static and usually evolve, part of Relay's core functionality now includes the ability to follow up on reported safety concerns directly. Here's a few key things to know about our messaging functionality:

  • Citizens can't start a conversation with any individual officer
  • Messaging can only occur when a report has been submitted, and closes when the call is cleared
  • You can request additional pictures or other details, or send pictures and other details yourself

Here's a sampling of what a typical exchange may look like:

We've already heard how in many circumstances, the ability to talk directly with the reporting party has given officers the ability to clear calls without even needing to physically show up, or to get all of the details sorted by the time they do.

Here's a few use cases we've seen in early testing:

  • An officer requested that two individuals involved in a traffic accident take pictures of the scene, their license, registration, and insurance, and then that they provide statements in their report via Relay. Once he arrived on scene, he was able to simply verify what was reported to him, then copy/paste from Relay right into his report in the RMS.
  • A request to tow a vehicle on private property came in, and the responding officer was able to request the plates and VIN of the vehicle, run them, and verify the vehicle wasn't stolen, and no action was required.
  • Dispatch was able to use message the reporting party when they sent in a call via Relay about finding a few guns dumped in their bushes, getting pictures and instructing them to avoid tainting the scene. Officers were able to see the pictures and details about the guns while en route, arriving on scene knowing exactly what to look for and confirm.

Any Relay Responder user can send a message in response to a call, up until the call is cleared. Even claimed calls can have multiple officers or dispatchers responding.

To send a message, simply click on a call from the call queue screen, and then click the "message" button at the bottom of the screen:

The potential of seamless communication that officers can monitor or participate in is pretty limitless, all while better equipping officers so they're able to be safer on the job.