Crowdsourcing being used by Public Safety

For my technology spotlight, I’d like to discuss how crowdsourcing is being used by public safety agencies. Crowdsourcing is when, in this situation, the public safety agencies solicit information from the public using social media and other programs. Public Safety agencies are using crowdsourcing through partnerships with various social media platforms. One example is the partnership between My Virtual Neighbor and Crime Stoppers; they are using this to attempt to obtain crime related information from citizens to prevent/solve crimes. My Virtual Neighbor is a web site that allows people in certain areas to share information. Crime Stoppers is an organization that seeks information on criminal activity. This partnership allows for local areas to share/provide information that will decrease criminal activity and solve criminal cases. Another great example of crowdsourcing being used by a public safety agency is a smart phone application from San Ramon, California; the fire department created a smart phone application that notifies CPR-certified volunteers if someone goes in to cardiac arrest near them. The CPR-certified volunteers are given the location of the individual, automatically through the use of the application. Elerts is an application that allows citizens to share information during crisis situations (this allows citizens to share pictures, information, and even videos). There are numerous other applications being used but each one attempts to use crowdsourcing as a way to improve public safety.

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