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Crowdsourcing Crime: Report Suspicious Behaviors

This weekend I went to see the movie Stronger, about Jeff Bauman, the young man in “that photo” who lost both of his legs in the Boston Marathon. One of the most gripping scenes in the movie was when Bauman saw the bomber. It was done subtly, as though to demonstrate how easy it would have been to miss. Yet, Bauman remembered what he saw. He knew at the time that something was off. But he brushed off the moment and turned back to the race. What if he had been able to easily report the suspicious man and his unusual behavior in a moment’s notice?

Today we woke up to yet another violent attack, the deadliest shooting in US history, in Las Vegas. We send our condolences to the victims and their families, and hope for full recovery for the many injured.

We’re also angry – as many are. How do we combat these incidents? How can we help? Our mission at ELERTS is focused on just this – allowing people to easily report suspicious behavior and help to derail such planned attacks before they happen.

Could a crowdsourced mobile alert app have prevented the shooter from succeeding in his evil mission? We can’t be sure. But we do know that when people report suspicious individuals and behavior, police are in a better position to stop violent acts.

While investigators in Vegas are now talking to eye witnesses to try and piece together what happened, we are reminded how valuable the public’s eyes and ears are when they act as a source of early warning for police.  Sometimes the early warning is enough to stop the bad guys from committing their assault on innocent people.  Apps that enable the public to quickly and anonymously report what they are seeing can make a difference. Many people are nervous to say anything directly – they don’t want to get involved. But when you give them a powerful tool to connect with police in the moment, without having to worry about getting pulled into the fray, they will share what they observed. We all want the same thing – a more peaceful, more safe world. Speaking up – even anonymously – is crucial to making this happen.

That is why we will continue our mission here at ELERTS: to empower the public to communicate with police and report what they see. The public can help – you can help. When you see something, say something.

Let’s continue to fight, together.

ELERTS Joins Airports Council International

ACIWhile ELERTS is well known for our work with innovative transits in North America – including  Atlanta’s MARTA, Boston’s MBTA, Dallas’ DART, Sacramento’s SACRT, San Francisco’s BART, Toronto’s TTC and many more – protecting transits is not all that we do! We also provide mobile crowdsourcing safety solutions that help protect schools, corporations and healthcare facilities.  And now, we are extending our See Something Say Something solution to help airport security have thousands of more eyes and ears watching for trouble. As part of that mission, we are proud to announce our membership in Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), recognized as the authoritative voice of airports worldwide. ACI-NA airport members enplane 95 percent of all domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and air cargo traffic in North America. 

As an ACI member, ELERTS joins the impressive number of businesses that provide products and services to all segments of the air transportation industry. Through the exchange of information and business opportunities, ELERTS is making its solution and expertise available to the ACI-NA and its airport members.

At ELERTS, our mission is to make it easy to crowdsource incident reporting for safety and security concerns. As we all know, terrorist attacks and lesser crimes can happen anywhere there are large crowds – on buses and trains, in airports and schools, corporate workplaces and concerts, even seemingly benign events like the Boston Marathon. The fact of the matter is that part of the problem – large crowds – is also a key part of the ideal solution: crowdsourcing. ELERTS is focused on enabling crowds to become a part of public safety by putting easy-to-use incident reporting apps in the hands of citizens and employees. Now, that includes helping to protect the public traveling through one of the thousands of airports each day. We look forward to furthering ACI-NA’s mission to advocate policies and provide services that strengthen the ability of airports to serve their passengers, customers and communities.

London Attack Has Transits On High Alert – YOU Can Help

This morning we woke up to alerts on our mobile phones, announcing yet another terrorist attack in London. We live in dangerous times. With attacks happening around the world almost daily, it can make us feel helpless, as though there is nothing that can stop the bad guys. But the truth is, you can help. You have a powerful tool right in your hand.

 

There’s a reason that the apps we create are called ‘See Something Say Something.’ The use of crowd-sourcing to get early warning about safety and security incidents is powerful.  It goes well beyond just an idea or TV plot, like CBS’ new show, Wisdom of The Crowd. This is real life and mobile apps are really helping.

 

Today is a day that defines why ELERTS does what it does. Was London a test run or a poorly made bomb?  Time will tell.  Agencies we have spoken with are on high terror alert, including airports and transits. Initial attacks are often followed by another. Thankfully, our customers are using ELERTS app to warn their riders to be vigilant, and to report anything suspicious.  If your transit has a See Something Say Something app, please use it! Below is an image of our current transit agency customers, although more transits and other institutions are getting on board.  2-way communication is critical in a crisis. If you know a school, hospital, organization or transit that can benefit from such an app, let them know about ELERTS.

 

Your eyes and ears can make the difference. If we look back at the many incidents over the years – the Boston Marathon Bombing, the recent Barcelona bombing or any of the numerous London attacks this year – it is clear that early warning signs were there. If you see anything suspicious – an unattended bag, a lurker, a threatening individual, please report it. You are the key link between what’s happening on our streets, in our airports and in our transit systems, and the police who can help. 

 

We are dedicated to making it easy to report suspicious activity with our apps. For more information, please reach out.

 

All of us at ELERTS stand with London today, and with you, every day.

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ELERTS is Committed to Client’s Success

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Trusted advisors to transit systems are known for  designing successful service launches, app rollouts, and best practices to engage the voice of the rider.

ELERTS is committed to each client’s success, from assisting with launch through product life, by offering advice on customized app creation, rollout, and promotion; reviewing current protocols; and suggesting best practices that other clients have found successful. ELERTS’ main mission is to ensure the purchased product works successfully, allowing the organizations to be safer entities.

Several meetings are held to monitor the process, and ELERTS’ customer service manager is in contact at all times to respond to questions and provide direction. That hands-on style allows ELERTS to help its clients best.

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Tips For Schools to Properly Communicate and Handle Active Threats

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The families of five Washington state high school students shot in a high school cafeteria in 2014 have settled a lawsuit against the school district’s insurance company for $18 million.  The settlement stems from a lawsuit alleging that a substitute teacher had been told of the possibility of a shooting but failed to alert school officials.

The cost of failing to report pertinent information goes beyond monetary implications, it includes the loss of lives, parents’ devastating loss of time with their children, the victims’ loss of a future and so much more.

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