LIHUE — The Humane Society of the United States and the National Sheriffs’ Association have joined forces to bring a smartphone app to help combat animal cruelty.
The app, “ICE BlackBox” allows users to record video of illegal animal cruelty. The idea is to record and share it securely with law enforcement for possible investigation and prosecution.
The new free smartphone tool is available to Android and iPhone owners. The app is the first of its kind designed and promoted for the purpose of catching animal abusers.
“Pictures are worth a thousand words, and in the mobile device era, effective recording and sharing of video evidence is easier than it has ever been before,” said Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar. “We hope this proves to be a useful tool in making a safer community.”
In September, the FBI began to include animal cruelty offenses, including animal neglect, in the Uniform Crime Report. It is the first time animal cruelty data will be included in federal crime reports and it affirms, at high levels of law enforcement, that animal cruelty is a serious crime.
There is now increased incentive for law enforcement agencies to respond to crimes against animals. The app is a new tool in that important work.
“The Kauai Police Department is very supportive of the new technology that would provide law enforcement with another tool to investigate reports of animal cruelty, which is a crime that often goes unreported,” said Kauai Chief of Police Darryl Perry. “We look forward to working directly with the Kauai Humane Society and the Prosecutor’s Office to bring these suspects to justice.”