If you live in Indianapolis and you’re concerned about safety, you may want to install the Citizen app, a new app that lets you know when 911 calls are made in your area. The app looks like a social media feed and can even live stream incidents. In addition to alerts, the app also allows you to report suspicious activity. However, there are some major problems with this app. We’ll discuss them below.
In an interview with the Indianapolis Business Journal, the CEO of Citizen App said the Indianapolis company aims to be the “most trusted local police resource.” He says that the app is unique because it focuses on local crime, including homicides and violent crimes. Users can use the app to report crimes and can access a map of recent incidents in their neighborhood. They can also videochat with the app’s staff and receive instant responses.
The service’s reliability is questioned after the Indianapolis false alert alerted residents about an alleged shooting. The alert, which was on for eight hours, was a result of a glitch in Citizen’s algorithms. The CEO, Andy Iro, says the company tries to be as trustworthy as possible, and that this goes hand in hand with accuracy. He also said that the app works closely with law enforcement. However, the IMPD says the app does not share any information with them.
The company’s strategy for attracting users is not based on advertising and selling user data, as is common with many startup companies. Instead, the company focuses on building trust with the community by empowering citizens to report crimes. This is the main reason why it is attracting users. Although the startup is currently still young, the future looks bright for Citizen. The app will double its user base by 2020.
Creating a network of people protecting one another is the company’s goal, but it has stepped into dangerous territory to achieve it. The company recently announced a $30,000 reward for the capture of a man they incorrectly believed had started a brushfire. The Los Angeles sheriff’s office denounced the reward. The company also plans to expand into other markets. This is a risky strategy that might lead to litigation.
Impact of offering rewards
The new citizen app in Indianapolis is aimed at helping the community respond to crime. It captures crime data from a variety of sources and presents it to residents. Last year, it added local Covid-19 information to its database. It also allows users to broadcast live video of an incident. Currently available in 30 cities, Citizen says it plans to increase its coverage quickly. It has raised over $130 million in funding.
In a blog post published Wednesday, the company said it will keep experimenting with different incentives. Citizen says it will measure the impact of rewards, and will make sure future changes are in the best interest of the public safety. Currently, the company is offering a service called Citizen Protect that costs $20 a month and lets subscribers call Citizen staff to report crime. This service allows subscribers to contact Citizen staff at any time to report a crime, and video chat with Citizen staff members. However, some employees were skeptical of the idea.
A new vehicle carrying the Citizen logo recently caught the attention of social media users. It was a test for the app’s new private security system, and many critics denounced it as a dystopian idea. It was also accused of interfering with the 911 system. However, the initiative was scrapped after a social media backlash. Experts and former employees are concerned that Citizen may end up doing more harm than good.
Potential of turning neighbors into informants
The potential of a citizen app in Indianapolis has many people worried. The app allows people to post video footage from crime scenes, and the potential for false identification is a major concern. The app was first introduced in Philadelphia last year, and as of this writing, has more than 225,000 users. However, one of its biggest flaws is that it doesn’t update all crime threads in real time, making it difficult to spot the true culprits.
The Citizen app was formerly called Vigilante when it launched in New York City in 2016. This app is designed to help citizens report suspicious activity. Its launch video, which was removed from the company’s YouTube page, shows a woman being stalked under a bridge. The app’s headquarters gets an alert about the stalking, and the employees of the headquarters drop what they are doing to investigate.