Laura Millar
On Wednesday, March 13th, the folks here at PublicEye® were glued to our screens, anxious for the latest news on the explosion at 116 and Park in East Harlem. Unlike most viewers, however, we were not watching television or CNN.com. We were glued to PublicEye on our tablets, watching the news unfold via the tweets of everyday people witnessing the event. 


On our tablets equipped with PublicEye, we watched as onlookers shared their perspectives and photos of the chaos around them. The explosion and resulting fire filled the air with thick smoke, and the blast buried the cars stopped at the block’s traffic light in rubble. By focusing our attention on the people caught in the middle, we could focus on real-time observations, and not on media speculation.


As people rushed from their apartments and shops to join the scene, a flurry of photos were posted. Thankfully, this incident was related to a gas-leak and not the result of malicious intent. If there had been an individual to blame, we might have been able to spot the proverbial “criminal returning to the scene of the crime”…



As the chaos began to calm, the numbers began to come in. At publishing, the disaster has resulted in the deaths of eight people, including a young mother and a public safety sergeant at Hunter College, many injuries, and several people are still missing.  Subway and bus routes were shut down all across the city. The tremors were felt as far as the 1 mile to Midtown and windows were blown out as far as three blocks away. 


Over the next three months, the NYPD has unveiled plans to pilot tablets with its officers, detectives, and intelligence analysts. Imagine how much more powerful their tablets and smartphones could be with the unprecedented power of PublicEye at their fingertips.
Social media integration is just one feature in our comprehensive public safety product, PublicEye. If you are involved in public safety and would like more general information, including sign-up for a free webinar, click here.

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