Citizen, the real-time crime alerting app, is growing in big cities using Scanners

ten13

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ten13
Just about all the news on NYC TV news channels which has a video attached to it is from this Citizen app people. Sometimes it's pretty good, since it's taken during the very early stages of the incident. Something the regular (union) crews are seldom able to get.

The only difference between now, with this Citizen app, and NYC news gathering 40 years ago with freelance camera crews, is that anyone can do it...you don't need to invest thousands into cameras, video equipment, cars, crew salaries, etc. The point is, there's always been "citizens" taking pictures of things, it's just that technology has allowed it to go mainstream.

Sometimes the news shows only use a still picture taken by a passerby.

The only question I have is, is Citizen app getting paid by the stations and, by extension, are those who shot the video or picture getting paid?
 
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In Indy we had Home safe town but that went away when we switched CADs in October. Last I heard the PSAP folks were working with CrimeReports™ but I can't get real time data. Supposedly the former CAD vendor has a patent on the way the data was fed to safetown but I see other counties in IN and other states using it, so I wonder what the real story is.
 

KD2JFA

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The only question I have is, is Citizen app getting paid by the stations and, by extension, are those who shot the video or picture getting paid?

No, Citizen (and concurrently the user filming) do not receive any monetary compensation from the videos or information that is transmitted/received. In fact Citizen works with multiple "Buff Pages" as well as "Organization pages" such as NYCFireWire, FDNY Firehouse pages, and other news media from scanner buffs to national news and promotes the sharing of our videos for free with minor requirements (Attribution either written or verbal and keeping our watermark in the video when it is downloaded).

As well there is quite a bit of additional information on success stories, implementation, as well as case studies of effects we have had on areas served. All easily accessible and reviewable on our official Medium page.

 

Tank67

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What are these “R1s”? What do they look like?

Edit: In the beginning of the Forbes article, it states “Citizen’s R1 scanners, a small, squat black box that instantly captures the 911 report, digitizes the audio and uploads it to the cloud”
 

blantonl

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No, Citizen (and concurrently the user filming) do not receive any monetary compensation from the videos or information that is transmitted/received. In fact Citizen works with multiple "Buff Pages" as well as "Organization pages" such as NYCFireWire, FDNY Firehouse pages, and other news media from scanner buffs to national news and promotes the sharing of our videos for free with minor requirements (Attribution either written or verbal and keeping our watermark in the video when it is downloaded).

As well there is quite a bit of additional information on success stories, implementation, as well as case studies of effects we have had on areas served. All easily accessible and reviewable on our official Medium page.

What is your role with the Citizen team?
 

milf

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In Indy we had Home safe town but that went away when we switched CADs in October. Last I heard the PSAP folks were working with CrimeReports™ but I can't get real time data. Supposedly the former CAD vendor has a patent on the way the data was fed to safetown but I see other counties in IN and other states using it, so I wonder what the real story is.
Many now have gone to PulsePoint for Fire/EMS now that SafeTown has been canned. Currently they are still working on figuring out how to make it all work with CrimeReports and PulsePoint all linking into our CAD systems. There could even be lawsuits involved if things get to tied up with proprietary crappola. Hopefully it all gets solved soon.
 

KD2JFA

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According to his linkedin page:

View attachment 74136

Yep that's me! I was the first employee hired by the initial concept team and have been actively working for Citizen full time since the beginning (even the Vigilante days).


What are these “R1s”? What do they look like?

Edit: In the beginning of the Forbes article, it states “Citizen’s R1 scanners, a small, squat black box that instantly captures the 911 report, digitizes the audio and uploads it to the cloud”
At this time, that is the only description I can confirm. Hopefully in the future we will have more in-depth analysis to share with everyone. :)
 

MtnBiker2005

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Few more cities added to the site.

Austin
Charlotte
Detroit
Houston
Indianapolis
Minneapolis - St. Paul
Phoenix
Tucson

https://citizen.com/explore

Phoenix became the sixth city available on Citizen
Citizen expands to Phoenix with the mission of helping the community and its residents stay safe and informed.


 
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milf

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Wonder how fast places will try to ban this and would this be illegal in IL with the pic/vid thing? It is still illegal in IL to take pics etc of Public Safety if your not media right?
 

trentbob

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Wonder how fast places will try to ban this and would this be illegal in IL with the pic/vid thing? It is still illegal in IL to take pics etc of Public Safety if your not media right?
I don't think they can ban this but it doesn't have longevity any more than streaming apps do, come to think of it no more than scanners do. :p
 

K9JLR

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Wonder how fast places will try to ban this and would this be illegal in IL with the pic/vid thing? It is still illegal in IL to take pics etc of Public Safety if your not media right?
This was indeed a big win for "1A." Illinois is a two-party consent state. There are some circumstances where it is illegal to record a conversation unless all parties involved consent to the recording. When the General Assembly originally crafted a prior version of the eavesdropping statute it was essentially illegal to record police officers in public without their consent, and their were prosecutions that the ACLU finally took to task.

About 8 years ago the ACLU successfully challenged Cook County (c.f., ACLU v. Alvarez) in court so that they could assert the rights of citizen videographers to proceed sans prosecution. It went to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the appellate court ruled in favor of the ACLU. It was petitioned to the Supreme Court and they denied certiorari, effectively rendering the appellate court's decision final. The state supreme court tossed out that earlier version of the Illinois Eavesdropping Act a year and a half later (c.f., People v. Melongo, 2014 IL 114852.), though a revised statute still allows applicability here in more private situations where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy between both parties (e.g., a closed door business meeting). The revised statute, enacted about five years ago, only prohibits recording of private conversations. There is currently no prohibition of recording police officers in public in Illinois.
 

milf

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And now INDY is live on it... Though now it might get its first challenge with certain members of the State House.... They are still working on getting scanner apps to be either fully legalized or fully banned under the mobile scanner law in effect here. This will bring it to the forefront again.
 

MtnBiker2005

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Indianapolis residents, follow CitizenAppIND to stay informed on what's happening in your city.



 
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blantonl

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I still struggle to understand how these folks are generating revenue. Where are the paying customers here?

If I was a betting man - I'd say that all that smartphone location data is very very valuable in the hands of data brokers.

Maybe this is a VC play by Sequoia to get one of the big social platforms to suck this into their platforms. Citizen has raised 30MM+ and has lots of employees and leased real estate.
 
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