Thursday, August 14, 2014

Georgia Teens Develop App to Document Police Abuse

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14-year-old Parkview High School Freshman, Caleb Christian was concerned about the number of incidents of police abuse in the news.  Still, he knew there were many good police officers in various communities, but had no way of figuring out which communities were highly rated and which were not.  So, together with his two older sisters: Parkview High School senior Ima Christian, and Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology sophomore, Asha Christian, they founded a mobile app development company– Pinetart Inc., under which they created a mobile app called Five-O.

Five-O, allows citizens to enter the details of every interaction with a police officer.  It also allows them to rate that officer in terms of courtesy and professionalism and provides the ability to enter a short description of what transpired.  These details are captured for every county in the United States. Citizen race and age information data is also captured. Additionally, Five-O allows citizens to store the details of each encounter with law enforcement; this provides convenient access to critical information needed for legal action or commendation.






“We’d like to know which regions in the US provide horrible law enforcement services as well as highlight the agencies that are highly rated by their citizens. In addition to putting more power into the hands of citizens when interacting with law enforcement, we believe that highly rated police departments should be used as models for those that fail at providing quality law enforcement services”, says Co-founder and Parkview High School senior, Ima Christian.

The problem-solving trio developed their love for coding when, as elementary and middle school students, they were exposed to MIT’s k12 Scratch and App Inventor programs.  Later, their parents encouraged them to learn JavaScript, HTML, CSS and the smatterings of Java. “We were surprised when we found a platform that enabled us to develop apps for both IOS and Android which was relatively easy to use and which allowed us to hit the ground running because of our knowledge of JavaScript”, said 14 year old Caleb Christian.  “After finding a platform that was a good fit for us, we immediately moved on to creating each page for the app and Asha took over the look and feel design of the app.  We all contributed to the creation of the product”, he shared.

Co-founder and HS sophomore, Asha Christian, “We expect that all parents will want this app for themselves and their kids.  We hope it will be one of the must have apps on your mobile devices.  Our goal is to make the app available to anyone, anywhere in the United States.”   Five-O is currently in Alpha testing and will roll out to the public on August 18th, 2014, available to both Apple and Android.  The Pinetart team has two additional apps in the pipeline and encourages interested users to like their page on Twitter and Facebook to receive a prelaunch versions of their apps for testing and review.



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