The police have never shied away from asking citizens to help them fight crime. However, the way citizens can help the police just got a fun and fancy digital makeover.
The Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository (LEEDIR) is a new app that pairs with the cloud to help police gather evidence from civilians.
The idea is modeled after what we saw happen on social media shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings. In that situation, hundreds of thousands of civilians scoured hundreds of photos searching for any piece of evidence that could help police with the investigation.
"When the public really wants to catch these bad guys as badly as we do, this is the mechanism," said Los Angeles Sheriff's Cmdr. Scott Edson, who helped conceptualize the system in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. "They can help us by sending us pictures and video."
"With tens of millions of smartphones in use in the U.S., it's a virtual certainty that citizens will be taking videos and photos at any terrorist attack, large-scale emergency or natural disaster," CitizenGlobal co-CEO George D. Crowley Jr. said in a statement when the system was announced in November.
LEEDIR acts as a centralized database for tips that come in with any case or crisis. It uses remote database servers, meaning that in the event of a major crisis, the app won't crash, or be expensive for the police to store that data.
It's still up for debate whether or not the app will actually help police. Either way, the way the police conduct business is changing.
"The paradigm for eyewitnesses has traditionally been 'See something; Say something,'" [CitizenGlobal co-CEO Nick] Namikas said. "So now the paradigm is shifting to 'See something; Send us something.'"