Monday, May 11, 2015

LSU students create app to make photos, videos of police action directly available to media

A journalism student and a software engineer student at Louisiana State University have created an app that allows anyone who records or photographs police behavior to immediately upload the videos or photos to be available for media use, Steve Hardy reports for The Advocate in Baton Rouge.

African American student Wilborn Nobles, a senior journalism major, developed the idea after watching the riots in Ferguson, Mo., Hardy writes. Nobles teamed up with senior software engineering student Elbis Bolton to create an app known as the Police Officer Watchdog Event Reporter (POWER), currently available on phones with Android operating systems. Nobles and Bolton plan to introduce a version compatible with iPhones.

"The POWER app allows users to submit their photos and videos with a summary of what happened, where and when the incident occurred and which law enforcement agency was involved," Hardy writes. Nobles and Bolton noted that not only could the app catch police in the act of suspect activity but also it could also be used to clear an officer wrongly accused of wrongdoing or highlight acts of bravery.

"Nobles and Bolton presented their work last month to judges at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and took home prizes for most successful project and riskiest project at the Social Media News Challenge," Hardy writes.

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