WSU News

Innovative police safety app debuts at White House conference

Vila-B-2013-80SPOKANE, Wash. – An app to reduce the impact of fatigue on police officers and improve safety will be presented at a White House innovation conference Tuesday, Jan. 14, by Bryan Vila, Washington State University Spokane professor of criminal justice and criminology.

Ten teams from White House “DataJam” safety innovation competitions around the nation were invited to present their projects at the White House Safety Datapalooza, which is part of the White House DATA.gov (http://www.data.gov/) open-data initiative.

Vila and his team developed the BeSharp app to monitor objective assessments of police officers’ fatigue rather than depending on self-assessments, since performance can be seriously impaired by the time officers actually feel drowsy.

Fatigue is measured using wrist actigraphy; that is, a small wristwatch-size device that monitors rest/activity cycles by measuring motor activity.

The app sends text message warnings as officers become progressively impaired by fatigue while on duty. The messages also suggest appropriate countermeasures while they still have time to work.

BeSharp will enhance understanding of how fatigue affects safety on the road and in the community; it will also enable evaluation of the impact of fatigue management efforts on officer safety.

DATA.gov is intended to increase the ability of the public to easily find, download and use datasets generated and held by the federal government. A primary goal of improved access is creative use of the data beyond the walls of government.

The White House Safety Datapalooza will be held in the Jefferson Auditorium, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C.

Other members of the BeSharp team are Jo Strang, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association; Gregory Godbout, White House-OSTP Presidential Innovation Fellow; and Sean Kerklaan, CEO of Fatigue Science, Inc.

 

Contact:

Bryan Vila, WSU Spokane, 509-358-7711, vila@wsu.edu