Law students develop an app to automate police complaints

Law students from the University of Alberta in Canada have recently won the Iron Tech Lawyer Invitational, an international legal tech competition, for developing an app that automates the police-complaint process.

Indeed, the app collects users’ statements and determines if there are legal grounds for an official complaint. The software is then able to produce a formal letter and submit it to the chief of police and the province’s minister of justice.

The creators of the app, Karyna Omelchenko, Prabhjot Punnia, Darren Wagner, and Denis Ram, believe that the technology can be implemented in jurisdictions across Canada, as well as foreign jurisdictions.

Furthermore, the City of Calgary has announced that it would invest $45,000 in the app’s development. The students were also given $10,000 through a joint seed grant from the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Police service, in order to study the app’s code for fairness, privacy, and the utility of its data for policy development and police training.

The creators aim to create an efficient open-source platform for police complaints that will allow citizens to report their complaints without fear of injustice. The students are also currently working on translating the app into eight different languages, as well as two local Indigenous languages.