For those who feel concern when they hear the whirl of helicopters flying overhead, it is now possible to get an alert sent to your phone that explains the reason those helicopters are there. The Citizen app, which significantly expanded its popularity in the last two years with its ability to provide real-time safety alerts that can protect you from encountering potentially dangerous circumstances in your vicinity, now has an added feature that tracks helicopters hovering overhead.
The company, headed by tech wizard Andrew Frame, recently announced that the Citizen app is launching a helicopter tracking feature that will alert nearby users as to the reason those helicopters are flying above your neighborhood.
While a helicopter might be flying over your neighborhood in search of a criminal or missing person, it may actually be for a far simpler reason such as a medical transport mission or a pilot going through a training session. The new helicopter alert feature in the Citizen app can provide the peace of mind of knowing exactly what’s up.
Citizen is supported by a team that reviews 911 communications data 24/7/365, and now they will also review and provide data regarding police helicopters as well. What’s most interesting about the Citizen app is that local news and incidents may also be reported and updated by users who can upload their own videos to any incident report. The Citizen team verifies these reports for accuracy, making the app more reliable than social media as a source for current information on any given incident.
Whenever possible, the team will also include a “related incident” report for any helicopter alert that will provide wider context to better explain the circumstances. So, for example, if the helicopter sighting is associated with a missing person report, the app will provide links to news and information about that report. Since the team is already reviewing, compiling, and reporting information about any police-related incidents and other emergencies in the area, it can also seamlessly provide details about the incident or report that any particular helicopter happens to be investigating.
The helicopter alert feature is the latest in Citizen’s arsenal of tools to help everyday citizens become more aware of any immediate safety concerns in their vicinity, helping users to avoid potentially dangerous situations such as crime scenes, fires, accidents, or other incidents that may affect their safety or ability to move about freely and easily.
Even if you don’t particularly worry about the reason helicopters might be flying over your area, the app’s unique citizen-based incident reporting feature makes it a great tool for keeping track of anything out of the norm that may be happening in your neighborhood. With data on incidents ranging from such simple issues as power outages and car accidents to fires, public disturbances, and burglaries, the app gives you a great overview of what’s happening in your neighborhood and alerts you to locations that it may be best to avoid.
In 2020, Citizen even introduced an in-app Covid-19 information feature that provides local rates of positivity as well as local vaccination rates, to keep people informed of pertinent information surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Citizen app has attracted over 7 million users since its launch in 2017.
The company’s founder and CEO, Andrew Frame, comes from a solid tech industry background. Having joined Cisco at the age of 17, Frame began his tech career by traveling around the world designing and repairing hardware, software, telecommunications equipment and other high-tech networking products and services for high-profile service providers. Prior to launching the Citizen app, Frame had also founded Ooma, Inc. a highly successful company specialized in providing innovative phone solutions for businesses.