Courts & Crime

Law enforcement's newest weapon: an iPhone app

Lexington police Officer Clifton Grimm was just trying to make his life easier when he programmed an iPhone application to put an interactive list of Kentucky laws at his fingertips.

"I just figured I'll just make it for myself, and if it's halfway useful, that's cool," Grimm said.

Instead, the app, called KY UORS on the iPhone app store, has proven to be a hit.

In a little less than a year on the market, the $1.99 application has been downloaded by about 1,000 people statewide, including officers, state troopers, attorneys and social workers.

And they've all heard about it through word of mouth.

"Everybody knows somebody who works in another department," Grimm said.

For hundreds of Lexington officers with iPhones, the app has all but replaced the laminated "cheat sheets" they carry in their cruisers, which remind them about what charges are appropriate for various crimes.

That's because all of the approximately 2,100 Kentucky Revised Statues can be read in their entirety on Grimm's app.

For example, if an officer forgets what constitutes a charge of harassing communications, with just a few taps he or she can read Kentucky Revised Statute 525.080, which says that a person is guilty of harassing communications if he or she "communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise ... in a manner which causes annoyance or alarm and serves no purpose."

The laws also define the levels of the crime; harassing communications is a class B misdemeanor.

Officer Dennis Smith, a patrol officer, said he uses the app for KRS numbers, which must be written on police reports.

"It just saves a lot of time," he said.

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