Kickstart Monday: CopKarma, an app “for the people”

Just about everybody has had an experience with a police officer at some point in their life, some of us more frequently than others.

It is astonishing, then, that individuals have no way of archiving these experiences by any means other than a case number and government document with only the officer’s account of said case. CopKarma is an app that allows people to rate, review, and share their interaction with a police officer.

Described as a “Rate my Professor” for law enforcement, CopKarma gives users the opportunity to create profiles for officers they interact with. Once the profile is up, users may rate the officer, write reviews, and even post relevant media such as pictures and video.

Based on all of this information, officers gain or lose “karma points,” which will designate the best and worst rated officers by particular state, city, or department.

“I feel like people make better choices when they know that someone’s going to see the pictures the next day,” says creator Jonathan Ybarra. “It’s a vehicle for transparency and accountability.”

4d57ac0069f259b968b63719136d68ac_largeWith an honest track record of events made public like this, anyone would think twice about their actions. This is the goal of CopKarma: to give ordinary people a voice where they are often silenced, and by doing so raising the standard of accountability for police officers everywhere.

“CopKarma is for ‘the people’, and whether you’re praising a hero or exposing corruption, the world wants to know.”

You can read more about the app and contribute to the campaign by visiting their Kickstarter campaign!

  • Michael is a contributor at LAUNCH DFW. He is an aspiring coder, a lover of music, and an avid collector of peculiar and outré socks.

  • Show Comments

  • Alexander Muse

    On first glance this seems like an excellent idea; however, unlike review apps like Yelp this one has two major flaws. First, officers tend to only come into contact with individuals who are suspected of breaking the law. Guilty or not I suspect that MOST of us do not enjoy these interactions and would be quick to give an officer a negative rating. Additionally, these interactions are relative rare – unlike a restaurant who is serving hundreds of people a day – an officer may only come into contact with a few people each day offering too few reviews to give one an accurate picture of the officers performance.

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