LEDAY: Positive side of technology: Siri police shortcut


Raven LeDay

In wake of Sandra Bland and many other unfortunate “routine” traffic stops, Siri can now discreetly record audio if you are pulled over. A new shortcut called “Police” is now available to Apple users. This proves to be a positive impact of technology.

     The shortcut immediately starts recording once you say, “Hey Siri, I am getting pulled over.” It is the kind of thing you hope you never really need, but it is there just in case. With that one phrase, drivers can get an added sense of security the next time you are pulled over.

     Once activated, the police shortcut reduces distractions. The shortcut has Siri turn on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, and prevent notifications from coming through, send a message to a designated contact with your exact location information, and record through your phone’s camera.

     Arizona native and creator, Robert Petersen, created the shortcut to “keep everyone safe and honest.”

     “I have noticed in reading news articles and seeing reports on TV that in many cases you end up with police saying one thing happened and the citizen being pulled over saying another,” Petersen told USA TODAY.

     “And how do you determine truth? Sometimes the police have body cams, sometimes not, and even when they do it is not always released in a timely manner.”

     Technology at its best! The shortcut sends a message to a contact of your choice. That text will include a message, letting them know you got pulled over, and your current location.

      Unfortunately, it will not record on its own. Users will still need to press the record button, due to limitations within shortcuts.

      Next, once you stop the recording and press “Keep,” the police shortcut will send a copy of the video to a contact of your choice.

      At a time when police surveillance is a hot topic, many citizens thought body cameras would hold police accountable and improve cop behavior.

     According to a study published by the Washington, D.C.’s Office of the City Administrator in the Executive Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser, devices did not substantially change police behavior.

     With over 2,200 officers surveyed, the report stated that there was no “statistically significant average effect of body-worn cameras for officers of Metropolitan Police Department.” Use of forces and civilian complaints for the past two years, were also measured.

     The dominance of technology significantly affects many areas of society in positive ways. Modern-day students not only have computers to help with schoolwork, they also have a sense of security at their fingertips during a “routine” police stop.

     Peterson knows at majority of the time the shortcut will not be used. “99.999 percent of the time you will never need it, but if you end up in a situation where it ended up being a good idea, you will be thankful you did.”

     Shortcuts is one of many apps that help document encounters with police. If you own an Android you can download “ACLU Blue” that allows people to record law enforcement and share those recordings in a public forum. Google Play store also carries an app called “I am Getting Arrested,”  which enables anyone to broadcast a custom alert message in the event they are arrested.

     The police shortcut can be found in the app store of any iOS device with shortcuts installed. Once installed, you can choose who will receive your location information.