In a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States and the National Sheriffs’ Association, ICE BLACK BOX, released this month a free mobile app that records audio, video and GPS coordinates — to catch animal abusers in the act and report them to law enforcement instantly.
Animal abuse is too common, and John Thompson, executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association doesn’t mince words about where it leads. The FBI and Sheriffs’ Association now know there’s a link between animal abusers and violent crime,. So if we can stop a case of animal cruelty, we may intercept violent crimes against people as well.
But you just about have to catch somebody in the act of abusing an animal for there to be any real consequences. The cases are often hard to make; dogs, especially, have a huge heart for forgiveness. They love, practically unconditionally, and they certainly can’t tell law enforcement what their owner is doing to them.
But now there’s a new tool that can help law enforcement agencies make cases against animal abusers, and it can be on your smart phone right now. ICE BlackBox is a free smart phone app launched this week by the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Humane Society of the United States, which helped fund its development and rollout. Cesar Millan and the Cesar Millan Foundation recorded a public service announcement about the app.
In a press release, Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer for the HSUS, said: “Through innovation and technology, the new app provides another tool for the public to join the fight in stopping animal cruelty and abuse. We are thrilled to work with the National Sheriffs’ Association on this first-ever app to pull back the curtain on animal cruelty.”
The National Sheriffs’ Association pointed out that the FBI is now including animal cruelty offenses, including animal neglect, in the Uniform Crime Report, the first time such data will be posted, so there is increased incentive for law enforcement agencies to respond to crimes against animals. Green Pets America has a blog post coming out this week about this positive FBI change.
“This is a game changer,” said Thompson. “We originally developed the app for our national neighborhood watch program. Why not have this app that people can use to report animal abuse, just as they can other crimes.” Mindy Gilbert, Alabama director of the Humane Society of the United States, says the new app is “one more tool in the toolbox.” “Law enforcement can’t be everywhere at one time,” Gilbert said. “This makes this kind of reporting, getting the information to them, so much quicker. Instead of people talking about it on Facebook for two or three days, the information can go to law enforcement immediately.”
Thompson said once you start recording an event, the recording is uploaded to National Sheriffs’ Association secure servers. You can view the video, but it won’t be stored on your phone, Instead, you’ll follow a link on the National Sheriffs’ Associations secure server. So if somebody you are filming gets your phone and destroys it, he will not be destroying the evidence.
The ICE BlackBox app not only records the abuse, but also notes the GPS coordinates of the crime. Gilbert said many instances of animal cruelty happen for a split second and then end. The animal can’t report the crime, of course, and so it’s up to people to step forward. Once the app starts being widely used, it’ll be a major step forward to end animal abuse. If somebody knows there’s a high probability of getting caught, he’s going to be less likely to do something
At Green Pets we see animal abuse way too often. This new phone app is going to be an important modern tool to reduce animal cruelty across America. Here are the links to download your free app. I downloaded mine. It was quick to do and is easy to use. Just be careful, when you test record it you cannot delete the test video unless you contact the Sheriffs Association to remove it. I hope I never have to use it by will do so in an instant if I need to. If I see a dog left out in below freezing temperature this winter, or see a dog or cat being beaten by his owner, or kids it will be recorded on my ICE Droid App and these sick abusers will soon be on the other end of the stick.
For more information go to www.PeopleWithProof.com
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