By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an agreement to create a mobile app for the Birmingham Police Department to help residents connect with law enforcement.
“We are always looking for people to engage with the police department in communications,” said Mayor Randall Woodfin. “Everyone doesn’t want to necessarily call 911 . . . [so residents] can download this app and share information with police. We think this is a great addition and tool into our tool box so our residents can share information with our officers.”
The app is currently still in the development stages but should be released soon, said Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith, who added the app offers valuable for residents also.
“We will be able to provide information on upcoming events, residents can go in and get jail information, identify people who are most wanted in addition to sex offenders, tips and . . . also share information with the police department that they would not ordinarily provide,” said the chief. Residents can also be updated on crime and crime tracking, he added.
The news of the app comes after a violent weekend in the city where a 5-year-old boy and two 18-year-olds were killed from gunfire.
The 5-year-old, identified by police as Tanarius “TJ” Moore, was shot and killed Saturday afternoon when two of his family members got into an argument and Moore was caught in the crossfire.
The shooting happened in North Birmingham’s Collegeville community on 33rd Terrace North and F.L. Shuttlesworth Drive Saturday afternoon around 2:30.
Smith said two women were involved in the shooting, and an arrest has been made in connection with the shooting.
A 29-year-old Birmingham woman has been charged with capital murder in the death of TJ. Birmingham police confirm Rickkia Allen was booked into the Jefferson County Jail Tuesday night where she is being held without bond. Her relationship to TJ has not been disclosed.
In the other shootings, police responded to a call of shots fired in Roebuck Sunday night where two teens were found dead in the road. Police have identified the victims as Kendall Jamal Shack and Ivey Carter Wilson III, both 18.
“We still have a lot of investigative work to do, we’re still following every lead and we’re working with several entities to break down this particular crime and go through the video we’ve been able to obtain and to close down and identify the person responsible,” said Smith.
Those shootings aren’t representative of the crimes across the city this year, he said.
“We’re still down in crime across the board in every category,” he said. “We’re still down 14.6 percent in violent crime in the city, we’re still down over 10 percent in our part one crime, we’re still down 22 percent in our robberies,” he said. “I want to point out that just because we have a spike in crime over the weekend does not mean that is our entire crime picture for the city of Birmingham.”
This article was updated on 12/11/19 at 9:55 a.m to include an arrest has been made in connection with TJ’s death.