comScore Teens Create Police Rating App Five-O | The Mary Sue

Teen Siblings Inspired by Ferguson Conflict Design Ratings App to Monitor Police Performance

0/5 stars. Would not get arrested by again.


Issues surrounding police brutality and transparency have a way of cropping up over and over again in the form of tragedy, unfortunately. So a few teen siblings with a background in app coding have decided to help find a solution with their police rating app, Five-O.

The Christian siblings, Ima (16), Asha (15), and Caleb (14), were inspired by the words of their parents, who always tried to turn their conversations about the issues in the news towards solutions. As Ima Christan told Business Insider:

We’ve been hearing about the negative instances in the news, for instance most recently the Michael Brown case, and we always talk about these issues with our parents. They always try to reinforce that we should focus on solutions. It’s important to talk about the issues, but they try to make us focus on finding solutions. That made us think why don’t we create an app to help us solve this problem.

The teens already had knowledge of coding from creating two other apps and their own software company, Pinetart Inc. Five-O is similar to Yelp or any other ratings app and lets you create your own report of exactly what took place in your interaction with the police.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 12.42.08 PM
Here’s what it’s capable of from the product description on the Google Play download page for the free app:

The Five-O app empowers citizens to rate, review and store the details of their interactions with local law enforcement officers. The system then aggregates all scores for a particular county or police officer and assigns by county and officer a dynamic grade for courtesy and professionalism. Citizens are also able to search incident comments by county, state and officer identification number in order to access incident descriptions posted by other users.

It also features community message boards for users to band together and try to affect real-world change based on the app’s findings. Fixing what’s broken with law enforcement is an ambitious project for anyone, but that doesn’t phase the Christians. According to Caleb Christian, “You’re never too young to learn, and you’re never too young to make a difference.”

(image via Dave Conner)

Previously in police and tech

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.