Cops are looking to crowdsource investigations using mobile apps

Citizen-provided evidence is clearly on the up. With the amount of cameras knocking about, this is hardly surprising. However, when something goes down at a large public event, the mass of well-meaning user-submitted evidence can cause data bottlenecks, or a stretch of resources making sense of it. This ends up potentially doing more harm than good. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has sought to resolve such issues by working with Amazon’s Web Service to create an app for submitting photo and video evidence that takes advantage of AWS’s deep bandwidth pockets. 

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings last year, eyewitnesses deluged authorities with uploaded videos and photos, sometimes clogging up servers and perhaps prolonging and hindering the police investigation. Now Amazon Web Services has come to the rescue with virtually endless bandwidth. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has teamed with AWS and others, resulting in an Android and iOS app allowing eyewitnesses to upload footage to the authorities during emergencies. The system, known as the Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository (LEEDIR), is a police tip line on steroids. “When the public really wants to catch these bad guys as badly as we do, this is the mechanism,” Scott Edson, a Los Angeles Sheriff’s commander who was among those who helped develop the system, told The Associated Press. “They can help us by sending us pictures and video.”

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