You might be wondering why Peacekeeper doesn’t enable you to connect with all the other people who have downloaded the app in your area. Why isn’t there a big Peacekeeper network that you can already tap into? Or, why shouldn’t you just add Peacekeepers you don’t know to your Alliance and Emergency Response Group (ERG)?
The answer is that those users would all be strangers to you, and vice versa. Here’s why relying on strangers in an emergency is a bad idea:
1) You Don’t Know They’re Trustworthy
Anyone can download the Peacekeeper app. If we set up a big network of users, that would mean that anyone could be on it. These could be people with criminal backgrounds, or just decent people who have no training. In an emergency, either one can be dangerous.
Instead, Peacekeeper is built on your personal network: your neighbors, your friends, your family. These are people you personally know and trust. Those are the kind of people you want to rely on in an emergency—not strangers.
Note: We are working to build a ‘Reputation’ system so that approved Peacekeepers do appear in a network and can be called by anyone. But it’s not there yet.
2) Strangers Don’t Know You or Your Situation
Injecting armed strangers into an unknown situation is at the heart of what’s wrong with state-based emergency response systems. Regardless of whether a police officer is a good or bad person, putting her in a strange situation surrounded by armed people she doesn’t know is a bad idea.
Imagine you have a dog that likes to bark and run at people for scratches. Or that you strongly prefer to deal with home invaders without violence. A stranger isn’t going to know these things. That’s how accidents happen.
By contrast, your friends and neighbors know you and your situation. They know your dog. They know you, and can tell you from the bad guy on site. And if you want the bad guy subdued rather than killed, they’ll know and respect your wishes.
3) You can’t recognize a stranger
If you’re being burgled and send an alert to the Peacekeeper network, the stranger coming to your door could be coming to help. Or he could be the burglar’s partner. The criminal’s partner could even be a Peacekeeper.
Remember, there’s nothing to stop criminals from downloading Peacekeeper. There is something to stop you putting them in your ERG and your Alliance. That’s why those features are at the heart of Peacekeeper.
4) You haven’t trained with strangers
The beauty of an ERG is that it’s a tightly-knit network of neighbors who can train together and role-play together. You can all take a shooting or CPR course together. You can role-play how to react if someone’s being burgled or has a medical emergency.
In a real emergency, that preparedness can mean the difference between life and death. And it’s something you can’t have with strangers.
5) Strangers don’t have a personal incentive
No matter how noble they may be, strangers don’t personally care about you, your pets, your family, or your property. They just don’t know you. That means they make calls that your friends and family wouldn’t make.
Again, police are an unfortunate example of this. Even good cops, faced with a barking charging dog, can react instinctively and pull the trigger. Their incentives are skewed by the fact that it’s not their dog. Faced with the same decision, your neighbor—who’s dog-sat for you before and cares about your pets on a personal level—would make a different and more humane call.
One of the main reasons we built Peacekeeper is because the current system—which relies on injecting armed strangers into a tense situation—is deeply flawed. It results in tragedies and abuse. We wanted to build something different.
That’s why Peacekeeper isn’t built on a network of strangers. It’s built on your personal network: your neighbors, your friends, your family. We believe that leads to more humane and more prepared emergency response.
Additionally, you probably don’t need to reach out to strangers for help. You have an amazing network already, in the kind and generous people who live next door to you and have a vested interest in your community’s safety.
Peacekeeper also encourages you to go meet your neighbors. If you don’t know any of them, what better way to strike up a conversation than talking about an innovative way to protect you both? Part of our vision at Peacekeeper is of tightly-knit communities whose members feel a strong bond to each other.
And honestly, reaching out to friends, family, and neighbors to join your Peacekeeper network is pretty easy. If you’d like some tips, check out our blog on the topic.