SEQUIM -- A father of four in Sequim believes that seconds count when it comes to personal security, so out of concern for his kids and other families he has created a free mobile App for your phone or tablet that warns of any threat. It’s called Shepherd Shield and you may have noticed it as our new Washington’s Most Wanted title sponsor. We’re grateful for their support, because it means we can continue our work to give you the information you need to stay safe. It’s a perfect partnership, because that’s exactly what Shepherd Shield does – when seconds count.
"We want every person to feel like they have a German Shepherd with them,” said Joe D’Amico, President of Security Services Northwest and creator of the Shepherd Shield App.
He’s spent his life making others safe. “We do alarm installation and monitoring. We do camera installations. We provide patrol services here on the Olympic Peninsula and we provide armed and unarmed guard services in three states,” said D’Amico.
But that wasn't enough for him, after the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, he thought there had to be a better way of informing the public of dangerous situations at the time of the event. “I`ve been in the security business for 30 years and over the last 10 or 15 years it has changed and it's getting more violent,” said D’Amico.
After a brainstorming session with his family they came up with the Shepherd Shield App that puts a ‘dome’ around an event that the public should either prepare for, like a weather event, or get instant information from law enforcement, eyewitnesses and even the victims themselves. “Coming up with this concept was like, I`m protecting my own kids,” D’Amico adds.
Shepherd Shield was launched in Washington and was slow to take off, but once it went nationwide it took off and has not slowed down. “If you are aware of what’s going on around you, you can both protect yourself and the people you care for,” said Justine Wagner, Executive Assistant for Security Services Northwest.
“Some of our incidents have ranged from robberies to burglaries to wildfires,” said Security Services Northwest’s Stephanie Headrick. “We've even had students contact us out of fear of bodily harm. There was an incident at school in Minnesota and the student said, ‘I`m scared! What do I do?’ We had instant communication with the student. I asked for any descriptions that he could give. I had a description. I had a location. We contacted their local police department, let them know about the incident, they informed us they had officers on-site, because of the resource officers they had and we continued to have communication with the student, he was safe and did the right thing.”
Shepherd Shield uses crowdsourcing from users along with law enforcement, government agencies and even local meteorologists to alert users what's going on around them. It also has a ‘Follow Me’ feature, so if you’re on vacation, or a business trip it will alert you to threats where you are. "The whole purpose of Shepherd Shield is to give you information to stay safe, as well as give a tool to our users to report something to us and help protect people around them,” said Wagner. “That whole motto, ‘See something, say something,’ so they can report anonymously straight through the App. We verify the information and then send out information to users in that area.”
So if you’re looking for an App that will alert you to threats: Weather, an active shooter, a protest, a fire, or even a natural disaster -- this App has it all.
Download the App from your smart phone’s App store.
CLICK HERE for more information on Shepherd Shield and how to download it.