LRAD and CONNECT: Secure, clear communication. Want to learn more? Register for the April 25 webinar.

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What’s Wrong with Using WhatsApp in Public Safety?

Everyone working in law enforcement and public safety wants a reliable solution for getting their intelligence out fast. And there’s no doubt that an instant messaging app can help make that a reality. The problem, though, is that too many agencies aren’t aware of how public messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, fall terribly short—and continue to put officers and leadership at risk for civil liabilities.

Achieving Compliance for Law Enforcement Communications

There are stringent regulations surrounding law enforcement (LE) communications. The state and federal records retention requirements are in place to ensure that all LE work will be available for review. But when officers are relaying intelligence via a non-compliant platform, there can be legal action against them. Staff who use WhatsApp can even have their phones confiscated in an investigation.

The courts have all agreed that ANY type of technology being used for work communications can be made accessible to the court. No officer wants to be subject to that kind of inconvenience and scrutiny. That’s why teams are switching to Genasys Protect CONNECT, formerly Evertel. It’s the leading app specifically designed for law enforcement communications.

WhatsApp Doesn’t Address Interagency Communication Compliance

A key issue surrounding WhatsApp and other public consumer communications apps is that there aren’t any self-auditing features in place. Agencies need to have archived copies of all work-related content. Using the WhatsApp platform makes this impossible.

We obviously want and need the ability to share real-time intelligence. That’s a cornerstone of effective communication in law enforcement. But messaging on WhatsApp doesn’t allow agencies to instantly audit their users’ conversations. That means you won’t be able to comply with FOIA requests. Moreover, WhatsApp isn’t compliant with the CJIS mandates either.

What officers really need is an instant communications platform that’s specifically designed for the way they work. Sending messages to team members on their phones is certainly convenient. It just needs to take place in an app that’s fully aligned with the regulations in the LE industry. Fortunately, there’s a convenient solution that’s similar to WhatsApp because it allows for instant messages and updates to be shared. The difference, though, is that it’s built for law enforcement, with interagency communication compliance in mind.

Ready for Truly Effective Communication in Law Enforcement? Start with CONNECT

We all know that dealing with radio chatter and endless email chains prevents us from acting quickly to solve crime and address public safety issues in our communities. By using a designated law enforcement communications app, not WhatsApp, we can finally get everything we need to achieve true interoperability—and more.

CONNECT is the solution that was created for law enforcement by law enforcement. The president and co-founder of Evertel, Jeff Halstead, brings more than 25 years of policing experience to the table. The Evertel team created the solution that he knew this industry needed. It allows for instant communication. Even better, it gives agencies the power to connect with other public safety professionals all throughout their region, state, and even the country.

Every step of the way, the Evertel (now CONNECT) app helps protect law enforcement against civil liabilities and interagency communication compliance risks. It’s a secure system that works on any smartphone or desktop, so you can send messages wherever you are, whether in the field on patrol, at the scene of a crime, or back at the office.

With CONNECT, your work communications are kept completely secure and still accessible for redactions. WhatsApp will never have those capabilities, which is why agencies all across the country are making the switch. They’re making CONNECT the single place for their teams to collaborate in organized chatrooms with real-time updates and intelligence sharing.

If you’re ready to experience the difference yourself and gain true compliance, schedule a demo with your leadership team! Then deploy it to the entire agency for faster, compliant communication that will make your team stronger than ever before.