On a Friday in mid-April, I stayed late at the office with a few co-workers to finish a couple items and chat about plans for the upcoming long weekend. The mood was casual and relaxed, until we received a HipChat message from a fellow co-worker who had just left and was met by a big stampede near Penn Station.
It turns out that a false report of gunshots sent hordes of people running out of the station to hide behind garbage cans, dive behind cars, and rush into the nearby Macy’s at Herald Square. For a brief moment, we lacked any information about what was potentially a very dangerous situation unfolding around the corner.
In the short span of time before the confusion settled, we turned to Citizen, a mobile app that sends select alerts of incidents reported to 911 that are happening in your vicinity.Read More