SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

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Innovative Eyewitness Video Platform to Revolutionize Responses to Terrorism and Large-Scale Disasters Launching on April 10th: CitizenGlobal & LA Sheriff Announce LEEDIR

As of April 10, 2014, law enforcement professionals across the nation will have a powerful new tool that will change the way they and the public respond to suspected terrorist and criminal acts and large-scale emergencies. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has partnered with CitizenGlobal, a leading eyewitness video and photo platform, to launch a pioneering technology that will enable U.S. law enforcement and relief agencies to receive, manage and share high resolution “on the scene” videos and images uploaded by eyewitnesses. This new technology can make a vital difference in solving or preventing crimes, speeding emergency responses and saving lives.

The innovative approach to uploading eyewitness videos, known as LEEDIR (Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository), is the brainchild of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and will be available beginning Thursday, April 10, 2014.

“LEEDIR enables eyewitnesses to acts of terrorism and large-scale disasters to upload video to all law enforcement agencies in the U.S.,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott.

LEEDIR will kick off with a three-to-four-hour exercise led by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department that will simulate a level of eyewitness photo and video submissions that would be expected during a major emergency event. During this time, law enforcement agencies across the nation are invited to submit photos and videos to the LEEDIR platform through the LEEDIR iPhone app, Android app and www.LEEDIR.us. As submissions flood in, analysts and investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will review, manage, analyze and distribute the photos and videos as they would during a real major emergency.

Following the exercise on April 10th, the LEEDIR eyewitness platform will be provided free of charge to federal, state and local agencies during major emergency events. When a major emergency occurs, policing agencies can request activation of the LEEDIR platform (visit www.LEEDIR.us) and broadcast public service alerts requesting the submission of eyewitness videos and photos from terrorist events, natural disasters or other large-scale emergency situations. Eyewitnesses will be able to easily upload videos and photos from mobile and web devices to LEEDIR’s secure and centralized repository, even if they are high-resolution large files. The CitizenGlobal technology will then permit the content to be rapidly evaluated, categorized and shared among multiple public safety agencies, enabling real-time collaboration and prompt action.

"LEEDIR’s next-generation video-capture program can turn virtually any smart phone into a powerful crime-fighting and life-saving tool,” said Commander Scott Edson, Technical Services Division, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. “The value of eyewitness-generated video in solving crimes and protecting public safety has been proven time and again, from the Boston Marathon attack to a host of other crimes and emergency situations. LEEDIR will provide a secure, centralized web location for citizens to come forward with videos and photos. It will be easy to use, secure and technologically robust. The process for the public to submit content to law enforcement will be familiar to anyone who’s ever uploaded video to YouTube or shared it with friends via social media. We are deeply grateful to CitizenGlobal and Amazon Web Services for making this innovative public safety tool available,” said Commander Edson.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is being used to provide the IT infrastructure that will enable this Digital Information Repository of critical eyewitness content related to large scale, major emergency events. CitizenGlobal will be providing the eyewitness platform and applications that run on the highly scalable AWS cloud.

“With 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. That content can be critical to law enforcement and first responders. To date, real-time access to such content has, too often, been a matter of luck or chance. LEEDIR will provide the real-time channel for public citizen eyewitnesses to submit vital information in a way that can be easily collected, collaboratively analyzed, shared and acted upon by multiple agencies. The ability to rapidly receive vital clues from a crime scene, or a report on the status of disaster victims, will give law enforcement agencies and first responders a life-saving edge. We at CitizenGlobal are honored that our technology can be used to help achieve the LASD vision for a safer America,” commented George D. Crowley, Jr., Co-CEO of CitizenGlobal.

“The positive impact of the LEEDIR platform can be immense,” said Steve Halliwell, Director of State & Local Government and Education for Amazon Web Services, Inc. “The platform allows law enforcement to engage large numbers of citizens to improve public safety in a secure and scalable way.”

About CitizenGlobal

CitizenGlobal is a leading eyewitness platform which provides (i) web and mobile upload interfaces that make it easy and secure for eyewitnesses to submit videos and photos and (ii) collaborative media management interfaces for law enforcement and relief agencies to rapidly review and analyze eyewitness submissions. Learn more at: www.citizenglobal.com.

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