High school senior creates CopStop app to help youth with police encounters
“CopStop isn’t just for me. It’s for the whole community,” 17-year-old George Hofstetter told The Root recently in a video segment. Hofstetter added that he wants his little brother “to grow up in a world where he doesn’t have to worry about being on the news as an African American child being slain.”
The Black teen transferred concerns about the high-stakes nature of police interaction with Black people, including himself, and concerns about his younger brother’s safety relative to police into his app CopStop.
Hofstetter created the app to keep people safer during police encounters and inform youth about safety best practices when encountering people in blue, also making his way into a decidedly non-diverse tech industry, which boasts less than 10% Black inclusion.
During a police stop, a user can engage the app to text a list of the user’s friends and family. It also allows the user to film the interaction and uploads the interaction, in full, to a database. The technology is a civilian-friendly alternative to body cameras that police often turn on and off to skew the footage.
The high school student hopes to release the app before this year concludes. After that, he plans to study computer science and counseling psychology in college, according to his website. His innovative thinking will help whichever institution is lucky enough to land him.