Citizen may test an on-demand private security service in Chicago

The crime alert app ran a previous trial in Los Angeles last year.

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Citizen will reportedly test an on-demand private security service in Chicago as part of a partnership with Securitas. The crime alert app and security company may offer a check-in service (in which agents could follow up with the victim of a crime to make sure they're OK) and scheduled private security, according to Motherboard.

The app previously tested a rapid-response security service (not unlike a private police force) in Los Angeles with Citizen-branded cars. Security agents responded to calls from Citizen employees. Motherboard's sources suggested the response time was fairly slow, which may have led to the company taking a different approach in Chicago.

Citizen provides push alerts to users based on incident reports it puts together from police scanners. It also runs a $20 per month subscription service that connects users with agents who can direct emergency services to their location and notify contacts if it's not safe for them to call 911 directly.

The move suggests Citizen is still interested in offering private security despite its questionable history and stating it wouldn't run its own on-demand force (though it didn't rule out partnerships). Apple and Google removed a previous version of the app, which was called Vigilante, from their stores for encouraging vigilantism.

Last year, it was reported that Citizen's CEO offered users a $30,000 bounty for tracking down an alleged arson suspect, but the app identified the wrong person as the culprit. Police apprehended the man but quickly released him for a lack of evidence. They later arrested another suspect in connection with the wildfires.