Beware third party emergency services apps

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — When put in potentially dangerous situations, many people use their cellphone as a safety net to ensure they stay out of harm’s way.

One app that alerts authorities of any danger is Noonlight. This app allows you to hold down a button and once released, you have a chance to enter a passcode. If the code is not entered the authorities will be notified.

One Dothan resident says this is her app of choice when she’s in an uncomfortable situation.

“I have used the app several times in the past,” Noonlight user Kayla Bachelor said. “Mostly when walking back and forth to campus, and then you know maybe at gas stations. It does make me feel a little bit safer because at the end of the day I could at least say ‘listen I’m holding a button that if I release it and I don’t type in a code, cops are going to be on their way.”

Although third-party apps can be helpful, a Dothan police captain says to be cautious when using them in emergency situations.

“One of the downsides of a third-party dispatch team is there can be a delay in the call,” Dothan Police Department Captain, Rachel David said. “While there is convince factor if someone is in an emergency situation calling 9-1-1 takes out that third step. It’s very important that a 9-1-1 call be placed directly to our dispatch center.”

David says that there are situations such as monitoring a home, business, or person where a third-party app could be beneficial. However, she encourages everyone to research the app they plan to use before downloading it.

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