Monday, October 22, 2018

Black Entrepreneur's New App Records Police Encounters

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Los Angeles, CA  The centuries-old criminal justice paradigm has just shifted. HI-TAPO, a new free mobile app for Android phones, which launched this week as a pilot program, could change everyday interaction between residents and law enforcement for the better.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR DEVELOPS NEW HI-TAPO APP TO RECORD VIDEO DURING LAW ENFORCEMENT STOPS  HI-TAPO also provides geo-mapping to identify the user’s location," said HI-TAPO CEO Martin Whitehead, the African-American entrepreneur who developed the app. (Visit

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According to Whitehead, HI-TAPO promotes safe returns home following law enforcement stops for every person, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, or religion. It adds an extra layer of support wherever you go, he said.

The innovative monitoring and social networking system is designed to provide immediate support during law enforcement stops; promote safety during stops; protect against potential rights violations; foster greater law enforcement accountability; and assist in community-building.

There is overwhelming evidence that police stops can escalate quickly and even be fatal. With HI-TAPO, users and their networks see and hear the interaction and have immediate access to the video and audio.

HI-TAPO instantly documents user interactions with law enforcement via streaming video, social sharing, and text and e-mail notifications to users' networks including family members, friends, loved ones and civic and community organizations.

"Additionally, HI-TAPO can provide a mechanism for collaborative, fair and equitable oversight of local police, state troopers, sheriffs, ICE agents, and others. It can be used as a new tool in community policing. With HI-TAPO, communities can actually map police stops," he said.

The HI-TAPO app is available for free download to Android mobile phones through Google Play. HI-TAPO is user-friendly with an easy swipe-and-click activation, and starting in November, audio activation.

Once the HI-TAPO app is activated, live streaming of audio and video immediately begin to record the user's interaction and GPS tracking pinpoints the location. Alerts are sent to those in the user's network allowing them to listen to and view the interaction in real time. If necessary, the audio/video can be used in a court of law.

After activating HI-TAPO, the user can hit an "all-clear" button once the interaction has concluded. However, if there is no all - clear signal given after a pre-determined amount of time, an SOS alert will automatically be sent to his/her network.

"Users can activate HI-TAPO and know that they are not alone, but have a network of concerned people who care about them, who know their location and who can see what is happening to them in real time. Loved ones won’t have to wonder where you are or what is happening to you. They will know," said Whitehead.

In addition, following the stop, Hi-TAPO allows users to write a review of the interaction, including the officer's name, badge number, the reason for the stop, use of force, if any, and a rating of the overall experience with a thumbs up or down. There is also space for additional comments.

The HI-TAPO system will aggregate ratings and comments about interactions with law enforcement providing greater transparency, information sharing, an opportunity for community-building, as well as a vehicle for highlighting well-trained officers who engage the community in a fair and equitable way. Visit

Whitehead said he hopes HI-TAPO can help reduce distrust between officers and the communities they serve.

Subscription service to provide live, 24-hour support.

HI-TAPO offers a subscription service which provides live 24/7 on-demand concierge support. If users are arrested or detained, HI-TAPO activates automatically to help locate them, whether in jail or a detention center, so their network can find them more quickly and work on their behalf. The concierge service is $9.99 per month, or get a month free with an annual subscription of $109.99. Group discounts and grants are also available at

"It helps minimize the amount of time you or your loved ones are unaccounted for and, possibly, vulnerable in the criminal justice system," said Whitehead.

HI-TAPO for iOS is scheduled for release in 2019. Visit Follow HI-TAPO on Facebook and Twitter @HI_TAPO.

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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