An online platform that allows eyewitnesses to upload photos and videos following a major disaster or terrorist attack could help law enforcement prioritize responses, a Los Angeles County sheriff's official said today.
The eyewitness photo and video platform, called Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository, can be activated by law enforcement when needed, according to the sheriff's department.
"LEEDIR enables eyewitnesses to acts of terrorism and large scale disasters to upload video to all law enforcement agencies in the U.S.," Interim Sheriff John Scott said.
Studies have found there often is eyewitness video of a major event, and law enforcement officials want to use footage to help find victims, suspects or view damage, according to the sheriff's department.
Following the Boston Marathon bombing, investigators asked for the public to share photos and video from the scene. The number of uploads crashed the online system, which prompted law enforcement to turn to the private sector, sheriff's Cmdr. Scott Edson said.
"Generally law enforcement, whether you are small or large, you don't have a lot of storage laying around, you don't have a lot of extra bandwidth," Edson said.
Amazon World Service and Citizen Global paired up to provide an app through Android and Apple and a website, he said.
Once the videos and photos are uploaded, officials flip through the information and sort it.
In the case of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, officials may not be able to get to every area, Edson said.
"So it may be important to us, if there is still Internet access available, to have the public send us pictures of what they are seeing so we can prioritize the response to the community," Edson said.
The video upload system can be downloaded for free athttp://www.leedir.us.
--City News Service