INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Downloads are rising for a new safety app that just hit Indy. It's called the Citizen app, and people are using it to alert themselves and their neighbors.
A team of fifty former journalists and first responders comb through all the calls into 911 dispatchers and send that info to your phone. The alerts look like a twitter feed of what's going on near you, and across the city map. People can also live stream what's going on at the incident.
“There is no incident that flows on this app that did not start out as a call to 911,” claims Citizen investor Ben Jealous, “If you talk to ER doctors where we have been active for years, what you find out is that they often find out things that are sending [patients] to their hospital 25 minutes before they hear from EMS.”
Mike Angel owns Square Cat Vinyl in Fountain Square but also lives in the neighborhood. Last night he bolted out of his home to post a video after he heard the exchange of gunfire outside his home.
“They can broadcast live to verify it," says Angel, “It's an instant way for us to share safety concerns for each other. I'd prefer there were no censorship of what's going on in the city.”
Watch as Angel shows you what he saw last night.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) warns that this may bring unwanted attention to a dangerous situation, but Jealous responds by saying Citizen has never had a complaint from first responders despite having more than a billion push alerts.
“Someone’s worst day is not entertainment for entertainment purposes for others," answers Officer Genae Cook with IMPD, “Any accurate information is going to come from us. If we have a lot more people show up to runs and to instances, that means it’s going to call for more officers to respond.”
The app developers claim their team watches over every video that is uploaded to make sure it doesn't have any graphic or inappropriate video. If it does they take it down.