ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- People in suburban Arlington Heights are being urged to download the Lifeline Response app on their smart phones. It can be used to call for help if you or someone else is in an emergency. Authorities from Arlington Heights and several other suburbs attended a workshop for the app on Monday.
"It's another tool out there to help focus resources where they are needed," said Kevin Finlon, Lake Zurich Deputy Police Chief.
Lifeline Response is smartphone app that, if triggered, relays a user's physical description and any pertinent medical history to 911 dispatchers in seconds.
"Every second counts," says Mary Glowacz, Deerfield 911 Director. "It sounds cliche, but it's the truth."
The personal monitoring costs $4.99 a month. Users put their finger on the app sensor if they feel unsafe. If something were to happy and users release the sensor, they are connected to a Lifeline Response dispatcher. If they are in real trouble, Lifeline Respons sends the information to the 911 center closest to their current location.
"[Dispatchers] basically get a map of my exact latitude and longitude of my location where I'm at," says Giacomo Listi of Lifeline Response, explaining how the app works.
The app has been around for several years. In 2013, ABC7 Eyewitness News spoke with a Loyola University student who used Lifeline Response when she had to walk around campus alone.
Monday was the first informational session for local police departments. The app can also alert police to suspicious activity. The Arlington Heights Police Department also wants to track data to see if there are particular areas where the app activations are happening and possibly prevent crime.
"We can deploy either resources," says Capt. Miguel Hernandez of the Arlington Heights Police Department, "or we might make suggestions about lighting and things like that."
Arlington Heights police found people in their area are already using the app are sharing information to encourage others to sign up.
Suburban police urge residents to download Lifeline Response app