Citizen app to hire in NYC and LA to film crime, public emergencies

"We do have demand to come to many cities across the country," a rep for the app says.

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The Citizen app is hiring residents of New York City and Los Angeles to live stream crime scenes and emergencies.

The controversial neighborhood watch app aims to provide users with real-time safety updates. The company is paying $25 an hour to interview witnesses and report “behind police tape,” as reported by The New York Post.

“Citizen has teams in place in some of the cities where the app is available to demonstrate how the platform works, and to model responsible broadcasting practices in situations when events are unfolding in real time,” a spokesperson told Insider.

“We believe these teams will ultimately help guide our users on how to broadcast in an effective, helpful and safe way,” the spokesperson added. “New York City newsrooms use Citizen video in their reporting virtually daily.”

The Citizen app doesn’t post jobs on its own website. One cryptic job listing on the career board JournalismJobs.com did not mention the app by name but noted that a “tech company with user-generated content” was seeking “field team members.” The job listing has since been deleted, per the report.

“You will be live-streaming from your phone straight to the app, covering the event as news,” read a similar job post that was reportedly shared by third-party casting agency Flyover Entertainment.

Per the Business Insider report, new hires will work four or five days a week and would be “dispatched” to cover events “behind established media lines, behind police tape,” and that they will never have to go to an “actively dangerous location.” They are also expected to interview police officials and witnesses on-scene.

“You will be the app’s official on-the-ground presence, generating live content to give users real-time information on what’s going on in their city as it unfolds,” both job listings said, according to the report.

Users can get real-time alerts about crimes, accidents, and emergencies via a map as part of the app’s “personal safety network.”

According to the report, the app launched in 2016 as Vigilante relaunching in 2017 as Citizen. Founder and CEO Andrew Frame told Business Insider that the name Vigilante didn’t vibe with the company’s core mission to protect people and cities. 

“We do have demand to come to many cities across the country already and we do have that on the roadmap,” Frame said, but setting up the required infrastructure to run the app in multiple cities will take time.

Since re-launching under Citizen, the app has raised $133M from high-profile backers like Peter Thiel, Sequoia Capital, and Greycroft.

“We have a criteria as to what goes into the app and what does not go into the app,” Frame said. “Our first focus is safety — user safety, officer safety — and our criteria is completely based on safety.”

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