Newswise — Over the past few years, as ordinary citizens have come to rely ever more extensively on the Internet to share all kinds of data in the blink of an eye, law enforcement has been stuck in the past. For example, police in one municipality—on the trail of a suspect who is known to have made threats against cops—have had no way to communicate that threat to officers in other areas who might detain the suspect during a routine traffic stop and put themselves in harm’s way. Employees at a school or business, concerned by the arrival of a suspicious or violent individual on the premises, call 911—but the time required to route the call and dispatch officers to the scene can mean precious minutes lost. Even AMBER Alerts, designed to protect abducted children, are issued only when an abduction meets specific criteria—which can take hours to verify, even under ideal conditions.

Because of situations like these—as well as an increasing stream of violence toward police officers—some have been asking how technology can be harnessed to allow law enforcement officers, both within a single jurisdiction as well as nationwide, to communicate amongst each other and with citizens more quickly and efficiently.

Ronald Woessner, CEO of COPsync, Inc., has a solution. COPsync operates a real-time, in-car information-sharing communication and data interoperability network for law enforcement agencies that enables patrol officers to collect, report and share critical data in real-time at the point of incident and obtain instant access to various local, state and federal law enforcement databases. Dispatchers and officers receive alerts to be on the lookout for child kidnappings, robberies, car thefts, police pursuits and other crimes in progress. Without COPsync, this is typically done via fax or bulletin board.

Meanwhile, the COPsync911 Threat Alert Service enables citizens in schools and offices to instantly and silently send emergency alerts directly—via a mobile app or via a computer—to the closest law enforcement officers in their patrol vehicles, as well as to the local 911 dispatch center.

So far, COPsync has attracted more than 1,100 law enforcement agencies, courts and schools to its subscriber base, primarily in Texas; however, the company hopes to expand its network nationwide. Other officers in Louisiana, Mississippi and New Hampshire have already joined the system as well.

As more and more jurisdictions across the U.S. sign on to the COPsync network, the number of real-time crime data being shared will rise—as will the potential of apprehending criminals more efficiently.