New "neighborhood watch" app Citizen is being hailed by supporters as a cutting-edge evolution in public safety, alerting residents in real-time to crime in their communities – but critics warn it encourages users to involve themselves in crime fighting, creating dangerous situations for civilians and law enforcement officers.
Citizen bills itself as a "personal safety network" with a mission to "make the world a better place." It sends users alerts about nearby incidents like missing children, coronavirus contact tracing, and all varieties of crime. Users can track, report, and share live video of crimes they witness. During a recent search of incidents in New York, live stream videos captured a handful of shootings, a man robbed at gunpoint, and police responding to reports of a UPS driver fighting with an Amazon driver.
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