Citizen Crime Alert App: Check It Out! It’s Hysterical



Jamie Dwyer, once again, tipped me to another must-have app – although currently only available in NYC and San Francisco.

It’s actually a re-do of the previously launched Vigilante. That app was banned from the App store for encouraging vigilantism.

Citizen, on the other hand, encourages people to steer clear of on-going criminal activity by sending you instant 911 alerts, directly to your phone, every time an incident or emergency happens near you. Supposedly, this technology empowers you to make “safe and informed decisions.”

More often than not, I find the 911 calls – especially the phraseology – highly entertaining. You can’t make this stuff up!!!

Who knew that animals feature so prominently in NYC 911 calls and they’re hysterical (“Strange animal in bathtub..???”).  See more below.

What I’ve discovered from the app is that in my neighborhood the most dangerous area is right by the Whole Foods at Chrystie and Houston Streets. Almost every day there is a “dangerous man” harassing people or violently swinging a stick.

Read on below for my totally unscientific tally of what’s trending criminally in NYC based on Citizen’s 911 alerts.


I normally check the app a few times a day. Based on what’s being reported, here’s a roundup of NYC’s criminal activity:

  • All over the city, there are lots of men acting violently, screaming, attempting to hit people with bats (although women are not far behind)
  • Disputes involving knives (somewhat more common than guns being flashed or shots reported fired)
  • Assaults inside of stores are very common e.g. a man threatening Footlocker employees with a knife
  • Large groups are busy assaulting people – police are always responding to reports of groups jumping individuals.
  • Lots of fires (especially in basements, in cars, and in manholes)
  • Tons of physical fights – between large groups, between couples, between women, between mothers and their pregnant daughters, often its groups of teenagers fighting amongst themselves
  • Pedestrians get struck by vehicles
  • Subway crime is high with police usually needing backup – the Lexington Avenue line is especially active and lately there has been a huge amount of crime on the F train e.g. man with a firearm on the F train and according to the 911 caller, the man “has a lot of cigarette butts around him.”
  • McDonald’s is the #1 restaurant when it comes to problem behavior – assaults, fights, problem customers refusing to leave, harassment of all kinds reported daily. My takeaway: DO NOT EAT AT MCDONALD’S.
  • That said, a man recently punched a woman at Buffalo Wild Wings

But it’s the calls about animals that I find particularly entertaining:

  •  Cat Roaming Train tracks – the cat which has not been deemed suspicious, is still on the tracks at this time
  • Raccoon in apartment – police investigating a report of a “vicious” raccoon in an apartment
  • Strange animal in bath tub – police are being requested to the scene
BOTTOM LINE:  Lots of crazies out there, everyone’s got a short fuse these days, the subway system is out of hand and the Bronx and the projects around Coney Island are just 24/7 WHOA! Also, I would advise everyone to steer clear of McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts – both have more than their fair share of loonies.


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