MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minneapolis start-up is using its technology to help people when they come face to face with law enforcement across the country.
Vitals pilot program began in St. Paul three years ago, and partnered with the Autism Association of Minnesota to create an app that would help police when approaching people on the spectrum.READ MORE: Hastings Community Rallies In Support Of Child Outed As Transgender As Part Of School Board Election
For three years Stan Alleyne and the team at Vitals have been spreading the word about their service that gives first responders information needed to help people who may be in crisis.
“We have amazing stories, we’ve saved lives,” said Stan Alleyne. “We just signed a contract to have our software in 85% of all the emergency response centers in the country.”
Vitals is now positioned to help anyone with medical or mental health conditions who may come face to face with law enforcement.
“What is fascinating is the incidents that don’t happen because of this technology,” Alleyne said. “This is about de-escalation, this is about reducing the use of force. It gives them information they never had before and it’s in real-time.”
Alleyne says Vitals CEO, former Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, has spent her career focused on police reform, and this app is helping further that goal.READ MORE: Some Winter Equipment In Short Supply As Snowfall Heads For Minnesota
Harteau says Vitals has expanded the people it serves by listening to the public about what is needed.
“What’s key and where this is really a game-changer is allowing officers to get information at the time they are in an encounter, “ Harteau said. “They’ve been telling us how this could work for a variety of conditions whether it be dementia, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, peanut allergies, ADHD, you name it. They think this is valuable information for public safety to have.”
The basic Vitals app is $2.99 a month, which means anytime 911 is called for anyone with the service, dispatch will have their profile and relay that information to first responders.
For families who need more help with loved ones who wander or get lost, Vitals has that covered as well.
“Now we have a service that once someone leaves the 80-foot barrier, it’s going to alert their caregiver, it’s going to let them know they just left the vicinity, and its also going to locate them for that person,” Harteau said.MORE NEWS: How Minnesotans Can 'Winterize' Their Vehicles For Winter Driving
Vitals is presently working to get its technology into school districts across the country.