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CITIZEN Blog

Today, Citizen Sends Its 10 Billionth Public Safety Alert

Across 60+ cities from New York City to Chicago to Los Angeles, the Citizen community uses our free alerts to stay safe and informed.

As of today, Citizen has sent 10 billion public safety alerts.

Citizen alerts notify users in real time about incidents that could impact their safety by monitoring 911 activity and cross-referencing with the location of their phone. These alerts have led to abducted children being reunited with their parents, families evacuating their own apartment buildings during fires, and missing pets being returned to their owners.

What you might not know is that there’s a Citizen analyst monitoring, processing, vetting, writing, and disseminating every alert we send. The Citizen team uses proprietary technology to monitor 911 communications, reviewing each alert in real time before you receive it (you can read more about our incident criteria here). Our notifications are designed to inform users when they are close to an active safety incident, giving them situational awareness to make decisions about their safety and the safety of their loved ones.

Once a Citizen analyst has created an alert, our notification engine takes over. We’ve custom-built the engine from the ground up to allow us to almost instantly notify large groups of people within the immediate area of an incident — because seconds matter most during a public safety emergency.

Our notification engine sources all of the users currently within the affected area. This is why Citizen asks for your location during onboarding — so that we can send you relevant, real-time alerts that may impact your immediate safety. Depending on the severity of the incident, this could mean a few blocks, a neighborhood, or your entire city. Our notifications are designed to inform users when they are close to an active safety incident, giving them situational awareness to make decisions about their safety and the safety of their loved ones.

In addition to real-time, location-based alerts, iOS users can also follow specific locations, like your home, place of work, or child’s school, to receive notifications about public safety incidents happening there — even when you’re not in the area. And if you add friends on Citizen, you can receive alerts about incidents happening near each other.

On top of Citizen’s real-time safety alerts, we also send notifications about local COVID-19 trends, police helicopters overhead, and dangerous weather conditions. With user feedback in mind, we’ve added notification preferences — so you can opt into or out of these categories by going to your App Settings page within Citizen. We plan to continue to make the notification experience customizable for your own preferences.

The Citizen team works every day to make your world a safer place, by giving you the information you need to protect yourself, while also ensuring your friends and family can stay safe.

We’re always looking to improve our users’ experience with notifications. If you have feedback on how we can make notifications more relevant for you, or if you’ve received a notification that has enabled you to stay out of harm’s way, please let us know at support@citizen.com.

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