November 1st, 2013
The LEEDIR (Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository) was announced by representatives from law enforcement, CitizenGlobal and Amazon Web Services at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
State-of-the-Art Eyewitness Video Platform Empowers the Public andEnables Real-Time Collaboration Among All U.S. Policing Agencies - LEEDIR
CitizenGlobal Partners with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department toRevolutionize Responses to Terrorism and Large Scale Disasters
LOS ANGELES, November 1, 2013 – Law enforcement professionals across the nation will soon have a powerful new tool that will change the way they and the public respond to suspected terrorist and criminal acts, and large-scale emergencies. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) is partnering with CitizenGlobal, a leading platform for user-generated video content, to launch a pioneering technology that will enable U.S. law enforcement and relief agencies to receive, manage and share high resolution “on the scene” videos and images uploaded by eyewitnesses. This new technology can make a vital difference in solving or preventing crimes, speeding emergency responses and saving lives.
The innovative approach to uploading eyewitness videos, known as LEEDIR (Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository), is the brainchild of Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy D. Baca and will go live with an exercise to protect lives in January 2014. The LEEDIR service represents a major contribution to homeland security in the U.S. and will be provided by CitizenGlobal free of charge to federal, state and local agencies during major emergency events.
When a major emergency occurs, policing agencies will broadcast public service alerts requesting the submission of eyewitness videos and photos from terrorist events, natural disasters or other large-scale criminal events. Eyewitnesses will be able to easily upload videos and photos from mobile and web devices to LEEDIR’s secure, centralized repository, even if they are high-resolution large files. The CitizenGlobal technology will then permit the content to be rapidly evaluated, categorized and shared among multiple public safety agencies enabling real-time collaboration and ensuring prompt action.
“Through CitizenGlobal, LEEDIR’s next generation video-capture program can turn virtually any smartphone into a powerful crime fighting and life-saving tool,” said Sheriff Baca. “The value of eyewitness-generated video in solving crimes and protecting public safety has been proven time and again, from the Boston Marathon attack to a host of other crimes and emergency situations. LEEDIR will provide a secure, centralized web location for citizens to come forward with videos and photos. It will be easy to use, secure and technologically robust. The process for submitting content to law enforcement will be familiar to anyone who’s ever uploaded video to YouTube or shared it with friends via social media. We are deeply grateful to CitizenGlobal and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for making this innovative public safety tool available.”
In order to launch the program, CitizenGlobal is providing its services in developing and managing the LEEDIR platform, and AWS is providing the cloud infrastructure on which the platform is built, to law enforcement at no cost to taxpayers.
“With tens of millions of smartphones in use in the U.S., it’s a virtual certainty that citizens will be taking videos and photos at any terrorist attack, large-scale emergency or natural disaster. That content can be critical to law enforcement and first responders. To date, real-time access to such content has, too often, been a matter of luck or chance. Through CitizenGlobal, LEEDIR will provide the real-time channel for public citizen eyewitnesses to submit vital information in a way that can be easily collected, collaboratively analyzed, shared and acted upon by multiple agencies. The ability to rapidly receive vital clues from a crime scene, or a report on the status of disaster victims, will give law enforcement agencies and first responders a lifesaving edge. We at CitizenGlobal are honored that our disruptive technology can be used to help achieve Sheriff Baca’s vision for a safer America,” commented George D. Crowley, Jr., Co-CEO of CitizenGlobal.
AWS is providing the IT Infrastructure that will enable this Digital Information Repository of critical eyewitness content related to large scale, major emergency events. “The benefit to public safety and security from this new program is profound,” said Steven Halliwell, Director of State, Local and Education at AWS. “This kind of citizen engagement that contributes directly to the accomplishment of a public service mission really delivers on the promise of the cloud.”
Chief Ted Sexton, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homeland Security Division, said “the Sheriff's idea for LEEDIR is revolutionary. The LAX shooting today would have been the perfect opportunity to activate LEEDIR. LEEDIR allows any law enforcement agency in the nation to have "on retainer,” a digital repository, an electronic bucket, that can be activated with a simple phone call and click of the button. Once the bucket is activated, the public can send in digital pictures and video from the scene, and it will expand and contract on the fly.”
“I also see the benefits to LEEDIR after a large natural disaster like a large earthquake in the region. Reconnaissance and response efforts may be hampered by damaged streets and freeways, so with LEEDIR, the public can help us by sending in pictures and video so we can better prioritize our response and recovery operations,” said Chief Sexton.
Chief Yost Zakhary, President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) stated "The IACP, on behalf of law enforcement leaders across the nation, would like to recognize Sheriff Baca for his vision in making this solution available for law enforcement across the nation. With shrinking budgets and increasing responsibilities, police agencies just don't have large capacity computing resources at their disposal. This public/private sector partnership helps solve that problem. The Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository (LEEDIR) solution provided by Amazon Web Services and CitizenGlobal is a great example of the power of cloud computing and its application in law enforcement. The cloud offers many tangible benefits, including cost savings, rapid deployment of critical resources, off-site storage and disaster recovery, and dynamic provisioning of new and additional resources when needed by law enforcement agencies of all sizes.”
Sheriff Mike Leidholt, Hughes County, SD, and President of the National Sheriffs' Association stated "On behalf of all Sheriffs across the nation, we thank Sheriff Baca for his vision in making available a solution for all law enforcement in the time of need. Law Enforcement simply does not have excess storage and bandwidth laying around, so the Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository provided by Amazon Web Services and CitizenGlobal fills a badly needed gap, one we hope we never have to use."