ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud Police Department is using a new mobile app that they say is a "game changer" with how they respond to calls for help. The app is called "Vitals" and it provides first responders with crucial information about vulnerable people.

Police Chief Blair Anderson says people who have mental health challenges, or their caregivers, voluntarily download the app and put as much information in as they want.

We see all the time in the news where police are called to a scene and wind up using force only to find out later that that person was suffering from severe mental health issues.  This app will give us the information that we need prior to us arriving.

Commander Jim Steve says

If we're within 80 feet of somebody who has the fob, it automatically pops up on our phone that there's somebody there that has this app, this is who they are and their diagnosis, their de-escalation techniques, and how we should treat and work with them for a safe resolution.

Steve says police don't have a way to change any of the information that you provide.

Anderson says the mobile app will also be able to help officers search for missing people who suffer from autism or dementia, as long as they have a Vitals fob on them.

You can download for free in either the App Store or Google Play.

Vitals Aware Services was launched in August of 2017 and is being used by about 30 first responding agencies mostly across Minnesota.

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