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Stark County Sheriff rolls out new technology to improve community policing

The Stark County Courthouse
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The Stark County Sheriff's Office, located in the Stark County Courthouse, is launching new technology to improve communication between law enforcement and the public.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Office is implementing new technology to improve communication with the public, according to the department. The technology will provide real time communication between law enforcement and the community.

Community policing is on the rise across the country, according to a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The United States Department of Justice's Community Orientated Policing Services defines one of the key components of community policing as collaborative partnerships between law enforcement and the individuals they serve.

The department announced the launch of SPIDR Tech this week. Once an emergency call is received, SPIDR Tech automatically sends a text message to the caller to acknowledge the call, notify when a deputy is in route and provide additional information and resources. Additionally, once a crime report has been submitted, there are updates to a case or if an arrest is made, SPIDR Tech automatically sends an email or text to the victims, ensuring they are notified of any court proceedings.

This will also allow the community to give feedback via a survey 24 hours after the call, Captain Ryan Carver with the Stark County Sheriff’s Office said.

“It just gives us another way to evaluate and verify that our staff is holding to those standards," he said. "It also helps us to figure out ways that we could improve when we get that feedback from folks.”

When the department gets negative feedback, officials will review dispatch calls and body camera footage to see how deputies can improve, Carver said.

“If there are ways that we can evaluate and improve how we handle a call, we would sit down and meet with the deputies involved and evaluate different ways they can improve their service," he said.

SPIDR Tech provides another way the department can further improve community policing, Carver said.

"The introduction of SPIDR Tech into our policing toolkit represents a significant leap forward in our community policing efforts," Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier said in a statement. "This technology improves overall communication with the public while fostering trust and transparency with those we serve."

 The department is in a three-year agreement with SPIDR Tech and will reassess its use after that, Carver said.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.