By Taylor Hatmaker
RideAlong keeps people in mind, and that’s a good thing. The company, founded by Meredith Hitchcock (COO) and Katherine Nammacher (CEO), aims to make streets safer, not with expansive surveillance systems or high-tech weaponry but with simple software focused on the people being policed. That distinction sounds small, but it’s surprisingly revelatory. Tech so often forgets the people that it’s ostensibly trying to serve, but with RideAlong they’re front and center.
“The thing about law enforcement is they are interacting with individuals who have been failed by the rest of society and social support networks,” Nammacher told TechCrunch in an interview. “We want to help create a dialogue toward a more perfect future for people who are having some really rough things happen to them. Police officers also want that future.”
Ridealong is specifically focused on serving populations that have frequent interactions with law enforcement. Those individuals are often affected by complex forces that require special care — particularly chemical dependence, mental illness and homelessness...
Made for field work, RideAlong is a mobile responsive web app that presents relevant information on individuals who frequently use emergency services. It collects data that might otherwise only live in an officer’s personal notebook or a police report, presenting it on a call so that officers can use it to determine if an individual is in crisis and if they are, the best way to de-escalate their situation and provide support. With a simple interface and a no-frills design, RideAlong works everywhere from a precinct laptop to a smartphone in the field to a patrol car’s dash computer.
Meredith Hitchcock is a MIMS alumna (2015) and co-founder and COO of RideAlong. At the I School she focused on user experience research, UI/UX design, and digital books and magazines