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CROWDSOURCING: Police Chief's Magazine on See Something, Send Something

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Excerpt from Police Chief's Mazagine story "See Something, Say Something, Send Something: Everyone Is a Cyber Detective ". Full Article

Law Enforcement Use of Crowdsourcing Evidence

-Crowdsourcing is when an organization outsources a task to a crowd of people who provide information or complete a task.15 Advancements in technology, especially in the areas of cell phone abilities and applications, have opened the door to increased crowdsourcing possibilities.16 Already, law enforcement agencies are using apps to crowdsource evidence.17 Additionally, the police have leveraged social media to gather important evidence from the community.18 The idea of crowdsourcing evidence has become so popular that it is a topic of a miniseries on television, Wisdom of the Crowd.19 -There are three main areas that need to be addressed to improve crowdsourcing. First, law enforcement needs to establish protocols and systems that allow the sharing of crowdsourced evidence in a manner that is efficient and cost-effective, including creating a national database that can be accessed by local, state, and federal agencies. Second, law enforcement needs to work with members of the public to educate them about how crowdsourced evidence is collected, how it is stored, and how will be used. The public will likely be suspicious that law enforcement will become “Big Brother,” so law enforcement will need to work to allay such concerns to encourage information sharing.20 Third, law enforcement needs to work with prosecutors and the courts to help ensure that crowdsourced evidence will meet the court standards and can be used in criminal trials.

Author Credit: Mark Velez, Chief, Palos Verdes Estates, California, Police Department


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