Everyone these days uses Twitter, either to communicate with his or her friends and family or to find people that share their interests. While a lot of tweets by the younger generations fall into the mundane, Albert Galloway Jr., 18, used the messaging platform to boast about beating a Boston bus driver. His self-incriminating Tweet: “My hands hurts (sic) from last night.”
At 1:20 a.m. Saturday, March 9, Galloway was one of 15 teens who waved down a Route 16 bus in Dorchester, causing its driver to think “something bad had occurred.” When the driver pulled over, the teenagers stormed the bus and proceeded to violently assault the driver. Three days later, on March 12, a tipster told transit cops that he overheard a teen named “A.J.” talking about the attack. When police visited Albert’s house, they learned that he boasted on Twitter about his hands hurting 13 hours after the assault.
Social media is quickly gaining importance as a source of valuable, timely information after a crime has taken place. The Real Time Crime Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico (pictured above) actively monitors tweets and social media. They are also outfitting their officers with iPads and PublicEye®, Zco Corporation’s public safety solution. PublicEye® displays to first responders important, timely information in an intuitive graphical interface (screenshot below). Further, PublicEye® can monitor all geo-tagged tweets at any location. This means that instead of having to wait days or receive a “tip”, officers can immediately scour nearby social media postings for relevant keywords and images after an incident.
With the addition of the Vine app for Twitter, anyone with a smartphone can tweet text, pictures, and now video and be seen instantly. What if that viral video of an incident could be seen by authorities not the day after, but immediately after its posting? With PublicEye® and your help, we can slash response times and collaborate for improved public safety. For more information on our public safety solution, please see our PublicEye® page.