The act of engaging private citizens to perform public safety duties (e.g., observe and report, tip lines, and rescue) through an open call.
Public safety agencies require assistance from private citizens in terms of surveillance, incident response, and recovery. However, private citizens are ill-equipped to efficiently and effectively perform situation awareness – a combination of sense-making and role-taking capabilities - in a safety crisis.
What if design, implementation and use principles for information systems could be determined in order for public safety professionals to more efficiently and effectively engage citizens? What if systems could be built and used to enhance citizen situation awareness capabilities in particular and crowdsourcing public safety in general? What if by enabling crowdsourcing public safety locales could simultaneously improve community resilience capabilities? We want to examine the role of mobile applications in crowdsourcing public safety by synthesizing findings from crisis management, citizen engagement, technology-mediated learning, communication studies, and network governance research. Findings will provide valuable design and implementation principles to improve how individuals (network agents) capture, process and disseminate information before, during, and after crisis situations. The benefits will accrue not only for community-level sustainability, but also situation awareness for first responders and local, tribal, state, and federal agencies responsible for public safety.