Frequently Asked Questions

How does Relay work?

Relay uses your current location or any location that you search within the United States to show reported non-emergency crime near you. We also allow you to submit newly discovered incidents directly with police officers at your nearest law enforcement agency. No matter what, Relay will deliver your report. If the agency is integrated with Relay, you’ll get notifications from your phone to let you know when officers are responding to your report and when they have resolved that incident. Local law enforcement agencies also have the ability to push notifications to alert their community of threats in their area, locations to avoid from accidents, and much more.

What can I report on Relay?

Any non-emergency safety concern can be reported with Relay. All reports are shared directly with local officers in your area. Because privacy is built-in to our platform, we also allow you to explicitly choose to share your name, email, and phone number. When you share it, this information is provided to officers in case they have additional questions about what you have submitted, and– depending on your settings– to also notify you of the resolution.

Is my information shared with first responders?

When you report a safety concern, it’s routed directly to nearby officers in the area. If (and only if!) you choose to provide them, your name, email and phone number are shared. This information is shared with officers in case they have additional questions about what you have submitted, and to also notify you of the resolution.

Is Relay available in my area?

Relay works throughout the United States, so you never have to guess who the right people are to call about your safety concern. We also believe in keeping 911 unclogged for true emergencies, so when you use Relay, you’re actually keeping emergency phone lines free.

When you report a safety concern in an area where law enforcement and/or other public safety officials have integrated into the platform, you’ll receive additional information beyond what you receive from Relay by default, including status updates and other enhancements. If you’re wondering how or if your nearby agencies are integrated, send an email to us or you can reach out to your city directly to ask.

Isn’t Relay enabling “Karens”?

This is an incredibly important topic, and one we always have in mind as the use of our platform grows. We firmly believe that people shouldn’t be able to leverage police in any kind of malicious way, and that giving police better information that they can evaluate at a distance lets them take a breath and make a game plan before arriving to help. It’s only a very small start, but Relay is a giant leap forward from the paltry bits of information that are handed off to them about what they’re responding to; a literal game of telephone that results in miscommunication after miscommunication, or at best, a lack of full context. There’s a lot more we’re planning from here. Safety is too important to leave to decades-old tools, and we believe Relay can be a part of helping everyone make public safety better.

Does Relay only work with police?

No. Relay is a platform built to support modern public safety, in whatever form that takes. Increasingly, many communities are creating– or already have– dedicated units for folks experiencing homelessness, mental illness, or other circumstances that your typical police officer may not be best equipped to handle.

In communities where these units exist, Relay enables routing not only by which first responders are nearby, but also by which first responders are most appropriate for the circumstances. This really is the tip of the iceberg on how we’re supporting a rethinking of public safety, so we welcome conversations around how to do this better. Send an email to us if you’ve got input here, our inbox is always open.

How does Relay work with first responders?

Relay works with law enforcement and other appropriate public safety agencies to enhance our service in their city. First responders who are using Relay’s service have been trained to respond directly to your reports upon their submission. Reports made outside of jurisdictions integrated with Relay are still delivered to the appropriate agency, so you can use Relay anywhere in the United States without having to guess which non-emergency number to call.

Does Relay spy on me or my location?

By design, we do not have access to your location unless you explicitly allow our service to use it. Beyond that, we do not constantly track your location, nor does our system record any identifiable GPS activity even if you do allow use of your location. We believe in putting you in control of the information you share, and not burying it in a privacy policy. Although there are some points in our app where using your location makes the experience a little easier, you can use Relay without ever granting access to your location.

Any device sensors you grant access to or personal information you provide us is held with extremely high regard. We’re users of our service, too, and we think it’s critical that we build in restrictions that prevent even ourselves, much less first responders, from accessing anything you didn’t explicitly want us to. It’s a novel idea for a technology company, but it feels like the right one.

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Relay allows you to directly report safety concerns to nearby officers, and to be in the loop on safety concerns near locations that matter to you.

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