Got Kingman crime?
There's an app for that.
The Kingman Police Department has released a smartphone app, free to download, of course.
With it, you can see a map of reported incidents across Kingman, check out bulletins (on Friday, for example, a street was shut down for a while because of a gas leak), access links to law enforcement services, report a tip or give a shoutout to the police.
When I first pulled up the map of crime reports, I admit, I wanted to load my shotgun, brew a gallon of strong coffee and keep the outdoor lights blazing so I could monitor the perimeter.
That map had more multi-colored pins on it than there are pennies in a dollar. But a couple of things brought me down from my paranoia - one, there were very few crime reports in my neighborhood, and two, many of the crimes were small, contained offenses, such as disorderly conduct or "suspicious circumstances."
So kudos to you, KPD, for using technology to ensure you're being open to the public and keeping us all in the loop.
There are, however, some aspects that need addressing.
The crime report map is browser-based. It's the same map you can access on the KPD's website, and it doesn't translate well to my phone. Some of the newer phones with larger screens may fare better, but I prefer viewing the map on a computer monitor.
When you first open the app, it asks you this question: "Allow 'Kingman Police Department' to access your location even when you are not using the app?"
The choices are "allow" or "don't allow," and of course I chose "don't allow." You don't need to know where I am.
There's an argument for clicking on "allow," and it goes something like this: There may be an emergency that incapacitates me, such as a car crash or a medical incident while hiking or something like that. If police can access my phone's location, help could arrive more quickly.
It's a good point. But I'm not going to volunteer to be monitored. Besides, I'm pretty sure my phone is trackable anyway.
When you click "don't allow," another screen pops up: "Error. Failed to get your location." Ha ha! You'll never catch me, coppers!
But this feature is particularly annoying. Every time you open the app, if you haven't agreed to be tracked, that error message appears. Three times in a row. Every. Time. It's creepy, KPD. Take care of that in the next version, please.
A side note on events of last week: Can we get a round of applause for former Speaker of the House John Boehner?
It would be for his "Lucifer in the flesh" depiction of senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, but my favorite line came later in that sound bite: "I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life," Boehner said.
There's definitely some politicking going on: Boehner supported other candidates for president, including Donald Trump, but will not back Cruz. Cruz, for his part, played it off by saying he and Boehner don't really know each other: "I've never had any substantive conversation with John Boehner, in any respect," he said.
According to a New York Times article, their conflict is a personal one. Boehner sees Cruz as an opportunist who puts himself above the institution of Congress and his party, while Cruz sees Boehner as a deal-making compromiser who cannot be tolerated.
I say this is the kind of candor we need in our public life. And it's more acceptable now than ever - so politicians, let loose. Give us the goods while you're still in office and it matters, not when you're retired and inconsequential.
If you don't, we could report you on the Kingman Police Department app.
It'll be listed under "disorderly orderly conduct."