The City of Hampton, The Hampton Police Division, Newport News Sheriff's Office, York County Sheriff's Office and Hampton University held a joint press conference on Monday, June 5th to announce the adoption of new, advanced crime-fighting, community communications, and student safety and information technologies to be utilized on the Peninsula. These advanced technologies are being made possible through a $75,000 grant provided by the Wason Fund for Public Safety at the Williamsburg Community Foundation.
Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan said this new technology is a "game changer" for his department. "For us in law enforcement, the ability to be on the cutting edge of technology is monumental… This is a way for us to continue our efforts of community engagement and collaboration."
ConnectProtect, just one of the apps provided for by the Wason Fund, allows the public to report suspicious activity to law enforcement through their smartphones; similarly, law enforcement can send notifications to the public about potential safety threats in their area, based on the person's geolocation or neighborhood. ConnectProtect technology makes it much easier for citizens to "see something, say something." Maker of the app, Shield Group Technologies, has also developed other apps to facilitate information sharing between agents in the field.
Harry and Judy Wason have been involved in this community for many years. From the Virginia Living Museum, to the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, Christopher Newport University, and MCV Massey Cancer Center at VCU - the Wasons have enthusiastically supported a wide variety of causes.
Last fall, Harry and Judy established the Wason Fund for Public Safety at the Williamsburg Community Foundation. They worked with director Nancy Sullivan to craft an agreement for a designated fund that not only provided tax advantages but also directed the funds to the organizations that could best implement the program - local police departments. As Judy Wason said to the law enforcement officials at the press conference, "If you help one officer, one person, one student, it will one of the best investments we've ever made."
"The Wason Fund for Public Safety is a perfect example of WCF's mission: connecting people who care with causes that matter" noted Paul Gerhardt, chairman of the Foundation's Board of Trustees. "We are so glad the Wasons came to us with this idea. Because of their generosity, individuals and families throughout the peninsula - and those who protect them - have access to efficient technology to make our communities safer."
To learn more about the apps to be used in York County, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Christopher Newport University and Hampton University, visit:
Download the apps and learn more at www.theappdownload.com
Pictured (L-R) are Roger Koch (Shield Group Technologies), York County and Poquoson Sheriff J.D. "Danny" Diggs, Hampton University Chief of Police David Glover, Newport News Sheriff Gabriel A. "Gabe" Morgan, Dr. JoAnn W. Haysbert (Chancellor, Hampton University), Mrs. Judy Wason, Nancy Sullivan (Exec. Dir., Williamsburg Community Foundation), Mr. Harry Wason, Hampton City Manager Mary B. Bunting, Hampton Police Chief Terry L. Sult
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