Home Correction app New ‘Vitals app’ helps Branson Police Department interact with people with disabilities

New ‘Vitals app’ helps Branson Police Department interact with people with disabilities

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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) – A new service called the “Vitals App” allows Branson Police Department officers to better interact with people with special conditions or disabilities.

When a Vitals user comes within 80 feet of an officer, the officer will receive a notification regarding their diagnosis and the best way to interact with them.

Lt. Branson EJ Jones says officers all have the Vitals First Responder app on their phones. When you sign up for the service, you get a small Bluetooth-enabled button worn on a keychain, necklace, or bracelet.

“One of the really cool things this app does is allow the parent or caregiver of the person with autism or special needs to record a message that can be read by the officer,” Jones said.

It is often difficult to communicate invisible conditions during an emergency. Jones says the app’s ability to notify an officer of these conditions can take a lot of the stress off that person. He says the app also provides more detailed insight into their behavior triggers.

“Which might help the cop with de-escalation techniques or get him the help he needs,” Jones said.

The police department says services like this are essential because Branson is home to about 12,000 residents and sees millions of tourists each year. Finding ways to be more inclusive is a top priority. Jones says staff have already had success with the app.

“As the officer approached the car, his phone started ringing and we are able to watch him,” Jones said. “Now okay, it was just a routine vehicle stop, the person wasn’t in distress, but we know it works.”

He says when officers are aware of people who need special attention, they can intervene with a different mindset and other tactics.

For more information on the program and how to register, CLICK HERE

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