Perspectives on Policing
with Loraine Burger
For Cops, By Cops: Facecrook iPhone app
Facecrook is a digital notebook that allows law enforcement to record and share information on suspects and persons of interest
Business Name: Creative Customs, Inc.
Officer: Jeffrey Bloch, Fairfield, Conn.
What is your signature product?
Facecrook is a digital notebook for law enforcement to record suspects, persons of interest, and those arrested in specific jurisdictions. It’s an iPhone app that lets departments and communities communicate with each other through a network of profiles.
Where did the idea come from?
I’ve been an officer for 25 years, and since day one, I noticed a major void in daily police work: communication. Exchanging of information, photos, and stories between officers, departments, and districts on the job was never a possibility.
How does it benefit officers?
Each profile contains physical descriptors, demographic information, contact information, and photos.
Profiles can be made not only for suspects, but for children or other people at risk of being lost or endangered. That way when someone goes missing, a physical description and other important information can be dispersed among officers and community members quickly and efficiently.
How does it work?
Facecrook, much like the mega-social network Facebook it impersonates, allows anyone to create a profile, and gives users the power to grant or reject any and all individuals from accessing profiles and information. People may only gain access with an invitation, and from there can update profiles and add notes where needed.
The difference is that there’s no access to privileged information. With Facebook, friends of friends can see information. With this app there’s no second-hand access.
Why is this system better than others?
Facecrook, unlike NCIC and other police software systems, allows the sharing and adding of information.
NCIC isn’t geographically based, and there are literally millions of entries. But Facecrook won’t replace NCIC. The app fills a niche that hasn’t been available before.
This app is particularly resourceful for cases of retail theft. Thieves often stay within a certain region, so security officers can use the app to look up photos, history, and other information for suspected thieves in their area.
How did your experience as an officer help develop this product?
My issue has always been that there isn’t a resource out there that helps the officers on the street. This is something that will be available to them constantly, no matter where they are.
What does the future hold for Facecrook?
• Facial recognition: the ability to scan a photo and match it to images online of the same person
• Integrating searches so that a search applies to all social networking sites.
• Red flags to give certain pieces of information urgency to those in your network
• App compatible for Android phones