Protecting Public Venues

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot5/14/2014
officer on phone

Every year, thousands of people gather to attend events such as concerts and marathons in public venues. While these events typically offer increased security measures, the number of attendees greatly outweighs the number of Public Safety Stewards. Unfortunately, in the past couple of years, we have seen a sharp increase in incidents occurring at large public events.

Security Guard Trampled: A security guard at the Ultra Music Festival was sent to the hospital in critical condition this past March when the crowd broke through a fence and forced their way onto the property. Miami’s homicide unit continues to search for witnesses in hopes that they can identify and locate members of the mob who were responsible for causing the incident.

Boston Bombings: Two bombs were set off near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. This tragedy resulted in three dead and hundreds injured. Before the correct suspects were identified, hundreds of pictures and videos were being uploaded to Reddit, a user-generated news website. Unfortunately, the impromptu nature of getting eyewitness accounts before the general public combined with an information-hungry media resulted in chaos, with innocent people reported as suspects.  Further investigation led to the true identity of the suspects, but only after inaccurate reports went viral.

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Social Media and Smartphones in the hands of the crowd, if used correctly, are effective for assisting law enforcement with investigations. As witnessed by the Boston bombing incident, pictures and videos uploaded to social media can provide supplemental information and bridge the gap between what is known and unknown. However, this comes at a significant cost. Too much information in the public domain can hinder police investigations, unintentionally cluing suspects into an ongoing investigation, or result in critical time being lost pursuing false leads.

sci-Shot offers a free Community Watch Mobile App to the public, so that pictures and video can be instantly shared with Public Safety Stewards and matters of safety resolved without delay or chaos. sci-Shot’s platform also allows the crowd to optionally communicate, confidentially, with investigators. The App and database have an abundance of additional features to keep data organized and keep communication flowing between the public and our stewards.   

Today, anyone is a potential eyewitness to a crime or other harmful or hazardous conditions. An extra set of eyes can make all the difference in keeping our communities safe.

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