‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’: iPhone shortcut automatically records police interactions

The feature is being brought back into the spotlight after nationwide protests against violent policing.


“Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.”

In Apple's Shortcut app, launched in 2018, a prompt gives the user several options for handling everyday situations as well as recording when you get pulled over by authorities while driving.

The feature is being brought back into the spotlight after nationwide protests against violent policing.

Siri can also respond to requests with follow-up questions.

Shortcut can save photos from Instagram, share the song you’ve been listening to and even create a morning routine for you. According to Business Insider, Robert Petersen, of Arizona, is using the app for a more serious reason.

In October 2018, Petersen said he created a shortcut on the app called "Police," which monitors interactions he might have with an officer.

For it to work, Petersen says your iPhone must have the Shortcuts app and be up to date with iOS 12. Once Shortcuts is installed, copy and paste this link into your Safari web browser.

Apple has directions to add voice prompt app shortcuts to their devices:

  1. On your iOS device, open the app and tap "Add to Siri."
  2. Tap the red record button then record a phrase that you say to Siri to run the shortcut. Make sure that you record a simple phrase that you'll remember.
  3. Tap Done.

You may need to change your Shortcut app security settings on your iPhone as well.

Because many police officers have body cameras on them at all times, Petersen said this is a way for civilians to also record what happens if they are stopped by a police officer.

The shortcut is prompted by the driver saying something like, “Siri, I’m getting pulled over.” Then it will contact a predetermined number in your phone to let them know you’ve been pulled over or stopped. Then it will record the situation with the front-facing camera. After everything is done, the app automatically saves it to Dropbox or your predetermined location.

Several courts have ruled that it’s constitutional to record police officers while they are performing the duties of their position, but you are not allowed to interfere with those duties.

Business Insider reported that Petersen said there has been positive feedback about the app.

Petersen said some people say "they've had issues in the past with the police, and one woman planned on using the shortcut to help with a stalker issue she was having with an ex-boyfriend so that she could send her location to family quickly should anything occur."

"That's one of the great things about Shortcuts: Anyone can edit a shortcut someone else has made to suit their specific needs," he said.