Welcome to the age of smartphone civilian authority.
At the City Council Hall on 250 Broadway this afternoon, State Senator Eric Adams, a Democrat from Brooklyn, will announce a little app that he helped create called "Brooklyn Way of Life." It's a downloadable "crime fighting mobile app," in his own words
, and will offer residents of crime-stricken neighborhoods the ability to report something suspicious to the police. If you see something, get your iPhone out.
As a former cop, Adams has told reporters
that the app was not made to discourage people from calling the police. In his point of view, many of these residents are scared to call the police, either because of some sort of consequence or simply distrust of authority.
Well, now, they won't have to worry about that. And here's how the app works.
Let's say you downloaded the app and you're walking down the block in, I don't know, Bensonhurst maybe. All of a sudden, you pass a convenience store and a man has a cashier at gun point. You whoop out your phone and videotape the encounter without being seen. FYI: we are assuming you have an infinite amount of courage.
Once recorded, you open "Brooklyn Way of Life" and upload the video to the server, posting as an anonymous tipper of course. The server will post the video on a Facebook that is manned by retired cops, who then pass the video onto the NYPD. Ten minutes later, they show up at the convenience store and arrest the thug.
Viola: you bypassed calling 911 and managed to use technology to alert the authorities.
If all this sounds exciting to you, check the app out. We may or may not download it.