Police use new tool to source crowds for evidence

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities are employing a new crowdsourcing tool to help with a Southern California investigation into an annual party gone awry last month that left dozens of people injured including several police officers.

The new online and mobile app is called LEEDIR, and it can be activated after a major emergency to allow people to send pictures and videos from their smartphones to investigators.

Proponents say the crowdsourcing system gives authorities a secure, central repository for the countless electronic tips that come during a crisis. And since it uses remote database servers that police access online, floods of data won't cause system crashes or be expensive to store.

Privacy advocates criticize the app as overly broad, saying it subjects innocent people to police scrutiny and probably won't produce much good evidence.