In the wake of nationally-publicized fatal police shootings, such as those of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, a new initiative aims to enhance safety and foster transparency during traffic stops. This initiative comes in the form of the BlueJay app, a tool designed to facilitate real-time communication between drivers and police officers.
BlueJay: Humanizing Traffic Stops
Developed by Curt Foster, the BlueJay app, currently in its final stages of development, allows drivers to share information with officers during a traffic stop. Concurrently, it provides drivers with critical data about the officer involved, including their photograph, name, badge number, and the reason for the stop. This innovative platform is designed to humanize both parties, reducing the potential for profiling and, by extension, unnecessary violence.
Family Initiative for Safer Traffic Stops
Curt's initiative is a family affair, with his relative James Foster serving as the Chief Financial Officer. Together, they champion the role of technology, information, and transparency in creating safer traffic stops. The BlueJay app is their response to high-profile police shootings and their effort to prevent such incidents from recurring.
Supporting Victims of Gun Violence
Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile, is also at the forefront of efforts to reduce police violence. Through the Philando Castile Relief Foundation (PCRF), she provides support to families affected by gun violence. The development of BlueJay comes at a time when Oklahoma City saw a decrease in officer-involved shootings in 2023, with none related to traffic stops. This reduction in violence, however, does not diminish the nationwide concern over police-related fatalities during traffic stops.