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Crowd-Sourced Reporting Provides Transit Agencies a Valuable Tool in Protecting Against Terrorism

The reality of today’s threat levels forces transit agencies to develop strategies concerning terrorism. The very nature of public transit systems—their open design, multiple access points and heavy volume of passengers—makes them hard to defend.

The string of recent terrorist plots, including the latest out of Russia, validates the need to assess how transit agencies are protecting themselves, including through utilizing a new source of valuable information: crowd-sourced reporting. Smartphones are everywhere; incoming information from smartphones makes a critical difference to responding personnel. The utilization of crowd-sourced reporting is an innovative approach to 21st-century transit policing.

“ELERTS understands the need for crowd-sourced incident reporting. The police can’t do it alone. Twenty-first century policing requires the community’s participation in public safety. There is no better sensor for security threats than an eyewitness who sees or overhears a threat,” says Ed English, ELERTS CEO. “Transit agencies of all sizes are using ELERTS’ See Say communication platform to enhance safety.”

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Transit Driver Appreciation Day is March 17th; can we keep transit drivers safe?

ELERTS has your Bus Driver’s back finalTransit Driver Appreciation Day is celebrating Friday March 17th.

As we prepare to show our favorite transit drivers our appreciation, there is a looming problem that is extremely difficult to ignore.  Attacks on transit drivers are happening more frequently, ranging from verbal outburst to extremely violent assaults.  It is hard to believe that driver’s are being attacked so openly, even with video surveillance and increased awareness of the issue.

ELERTS Corp offers a See Say app that allows riders to instantly and discretely report safety and security concerns.  Physical and verbal assaults on transit drivers have been reported with ELERTS app.  Riders report what they see & hear and can send a photo/video, plus a GPS map identifying the incident location.  This reporting app enables real-time 2-way communication between rider and console operator, without a word being said.

Because ELERTS offers this product, ongoing research occurs geared toward increasing the safety of transits and transit riders.  We felt compelled to re-share this information, disturbed by the reality faced by transit drivers.

JOYANNE PURSAGA, Winnipeg Sun Tuesday, February 28, 2017 “Assaults are ongoing. They’re almost a daily occurrence,” said John Callahan, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505 Winnipeg, Manitoba

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The Challenge of Protecting Transit and Passenger Rail: Understanding How Security Works Against Terrorism

MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE releases MTI Report 12-74 Detailing the following excerpts

“In response to the threat that terrorists may attack anywhere, members of the public have been mobilized to bring suspicious behavior or objects to the attention of the authorities”.

“Security measures should aim for a net security benefit. Increasing security in order to merely displace the risk from one target to another, while necessary in special circumstances, offers little net security benefit. This argues against disruptive and costly  security efforts to protect public places”.

“Nevertheless, security measures have demonstrable utility. They can create operational problems for would-be attackers; affect terrorist target selection; reduce terrorist effectiveness; uncover explosive devices; detect weapons; assist authorities in quickly diagnosing and responding to attacks; help to quickly identify and apprehend perpetrators, thereby preventing further planned attacks; and facilitate rapid removal of innocent individuals from harm’s way”.

“Enlisting the public in security demonstrably works. One security measure that can be
quantified and that appears to work in the area of surface-transportation security is enlisting staff and the public to call attention to suspicious behavior and objects. Public awareness in the United Kingdom seems to have helped in identifying explosive devices placed by the IRA. According to the MTI database, warnings by staff, on-scene security personnel, and passengers prevented 11 percent of terrorist bombings in Europe”.

View the Full Article: the pdf file.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester choose ELERTS safety app

DATELINE: DORCHESTER, MA and WEYMOUTH, MA…

ELERTS Corp., a leading provider of emergency communication mobile apps, announced that its Event Alert communication system will be used to enhance safety at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester (BGCD).  Staff at all three locations will have access to the ELERTS app, which enables them to immediately alert Boston Police, BGCD staff and administrators about safety and security concerns.

elerts-phoneIn the event of a safety or security concern, the ELERTS app will enable staff members at all three Club locations to send and receive alerts on their smartphones and computers. Situation awareness improves when details about an incident can be immediately shared with staff and police. Reports may include a description of the issue, photos, video, and a GPS map, pinpointing the problem area. The app being provided by ELERTS will also enable Medical Emergency and Missing Person reporting.

“Ease of use is a cornerstone of ELERTS Event Alert app—by tapping a few buttons on your smartphone you can report a safety incident, suspicious behavior or an emergency. Information is provided immediately to others in the facility and to local police. This situation awareness helps people better respond to an incident,” said Ed English, CEO of ELERTS Corp. “For the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, the ability to issue alerts about an emergency situation in real time provides a timely advantage should assistance be needed.”

The ELERTS app will be available to staff at all Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester locations: Paul R. McLaughlin Youth Center at 1135 Dorchester Avenue; Colonel Daniel Marr Boys & Girls Club at 35 Deer Street; and Walter Denney Youth Center at Harbor Point Apartment Complex, 270 Mount Vernon Street.

ELERTS safety communication apps are used by K-12 schools, colleges and universities, medical centers and hospitals, corporate facilities and other organizations. A similar ELERTS app is used by major transits, including the MBTA in Boston, the MARTA in Atlanta and BART in San Francisco.  By enlisting app users to report security concerns, ELERTS app acts as a force multiplier for police and security teams.

For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, visit http://bgcdorchester.org.