Three teenage siblings from Stone Mountain, Georgia, have re-launched their FiveO police rating app, by using the $22,000 first place award they won from the 2015 Hiil Innovating Justice Challenge at The Hague, Netherlands. The term FiveO, is a slang term used for police officers. The FiveO app, aims to build and strengthen the bond between citizens and police officers. The app allows citizens to commend officers or to file reports on positive or negative police interactions.
The siblings, (Ima, Asha, and Caleb Christian) came up with the idea for the app after a terrifying encounter with police. One evening while doing their homework, two cops came into the Christian’s home with their guns drawn, after a prank tip said there was a hostage situation at their address. Even when the police realized there was a mistake, they still ran the children’s father’s name through the police database in case they ‘found’ something. The encounter left the family shaken and this laid the foundation for creating the app.
Originally launched in 2014, the app allows citizens to rate their interaction with the police, record both parties’ race and sex and the purpose of the interaction, and give a score to the encounter. With the grant monies won, the teens were able to redesign the app.
The new version of FiveO allows police departments to notify citizens of police and community events. It allows users to notify their family of their GPS location with one button push. Citizens will continue to be able to rate and review police interactions and the system will maintain a history of the user’s interaction with the police.
“We believe that FiveO will make a significant difference if we are able to convince community members to share their experiences within our app, so we will do everything possible with the resources we have at our disposal to make this happen”, said 18-year old team member Asha Christian. “We are convinced that a good portion of the power to change the quality of policing in our communities is in our own hands.”
The FiveO team wants consistent, quality police services across all communities in the U.S. and they encourage police departments to use the app to share police sponsored community events. They also want citizens to do their part, by downloading the app and sharing their police interactions. FiveO is available in the Android and iOS app stores and online at www.FiveO.us. The FiveO app aims to be a national and international repository of citizen police reports, and they are confident that their app will be that place. In addition to being used in the U.S., the app is slated to be launched in Britain, Brazil, Canada and Russia.
In addition to the FiveO app, the siblings are due to release another app in 2016 called Coily, which allows women to rate their hair care products. Both apps are registered to their company, Pinetart Inc. The teens taught themselves coding because in the words of Caleb, “youngsters were making a ton of money in coding.” The Christian siblings got some inspiration for working in the technology sector from their parents, who both worked for an internet startup company.