Onshore America

In January 2020, we were given the opportunity to use technology to revolutionize the handling of community safety tips and reports. Randy Feathers from the Blair County District Attorney’s Office approached us with the goal of streamlining the process of receiving and distributing tips from two crucial hotlines: Push Out the Pusher and the PA Child Abuse hotline. Both hotlines are vital for safeguarding the community but faced operational challenges that required a modern solution. 

Push Out the Pusher is a drug hotline where Blair County residents can anonymously report tips and information regarding suspected drug activity. Callers can leave voicemail messages or speak with operators at the Blair County 911 Center. These tips are then routed to the appropriate law enforcement jurisdiction for investigation. 

Similarly, reports from the PA Child Abuse Hotline were generated as PDF documents, each containing important details about a child in danger. It was imperative that these reports were promptly processed and distributed to the appropriate authorities, given their critical nature. 

However, before the development of BC Hot, this process was excessively time-consuming. Reports were sent to the District Attorney’s office, where Randy manually sifted through tips, tracked them using a spreadsheet, and identified the correct jurisdiction among the county’s 26 municipalities. 

BC Hot was created to streamline and automate these processes, providing the district attorney’s office with invaluable time savings and enhanced efficiency. Upon receiving a phone call through the Push Out the Pusher hotline, the recording was uploaded into BC Hot, stored, and then automatically sent to the appropriate jurisdiction based on the call’s address. 

As for the PA Child Abuse Hotline, BC Hot transformed the handling of reports. Previously, these reports required manual processing at the state level before being sent to the local district attorney’s office, where further manual steps were undertaken to determine the correct jurisdiction. With BC Hot, all hotline call recordings could be uploaded into the system and automatically dispatched to the correct jurisdiction based on the call location. 

BC Hot significantly improved the operations of both the Push Out the Pusher and PA Child Abuse hotlines. For the Push Out the Pusher hotline, BC Hot streamlined the process from tip reception to investigation, enhancing organization and ensuring a timely response from law enforcement across Blair County. Similarly, for the PA Child Abuse hotline, BC Hot simplified report handling, offering a secure platform for storing and routing critical information to local authorities. 

By simplifying and automating the previously time-consuming process, the District Attorney’s office could allocate its resources more effectively, focusing on the urgent task of investigating tips without the burden of administrative overhead. BC Hot represents a significant leap forward in community safety efforts, demonstrating the potential of software solutions in improving citizens’ lives and the efficiency of public service operations. 


Savannah Gillie is the Marketing and Community Engagement Specialist of PS Solutions, a custom software development and consulting firm with offices in Altoona, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Wilmington, NC. You can reach Savannah at sgillie@pssolutions.net 

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