10 Ways Public Safety Technologies Are Helping Agencies Prepare For The Future

1. Virtual Reality Training

Many law enforcement agencies have begun using Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) technologies to help immerse officers into a virtual situation to provide more realistic training. These technologies are currently being used for use-of-force, hostage negotiation, and other situation-specific training opportunities.

2. Real-time Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is a key component of keeping officers safe on the streets and managing situations more effectively as they arise. In order to accomplish this, public safety agencies are integrating and layering data from different sources, such as the consumer traffic navigation app Waze, in order to provide a more accurate snapshot of a given area for officers in the field.

3. Predictive Policing

Predictive policing involves leveraging data (form multiple sources) and sophisticated computer algorithms to identify patterns or trends that can be used to respond more effectively. For example, many law enforcement agencies use predictive policing strategies to identify hotspots of crime, and based on previous trends, they can better position law enforcement personnel for response.

4. Internet of Things (IoT) Sensors

The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving many public safety agencies to begin embedding internet-connected sensors within their jurisdictions. For example, many cities are using Shotspotter (Now SST) as a tool to automaticity detect and triangulate any gun shots that take place within their jurisdictions. This technology helps agencies respond quicker with a wealth of data at their disposal.

5. Business Intelligence & Analytics (Sponsored)

Public safety organizations must store and maintain an exponentially increasing base of data, but many of these agencies also struggle with extracting insights from this same set of data. Modern technology solutions feature Business Intelligence & Analytics (BI&A) tools which visually translate historical and real-time data into dashboards. By providing a foundation for public safety agencies to immediately assess the current status of certain tasks, recognize problems, and visualize opportunities for remediation or improvement, more data-informed decision-making can better anticipate the future.

6. Social Media Policing

Every 60 second there are 422,340 tweets sent online through the popular, micro-blogging site Twitter. As more individuals use social media technologies to communicate, many public sector agencies have begun to employ social listening technologies to proactively identify online threats and criminal behavior.

7. Interoperable Networks (FirstNet)

Interoperable networks are a critical component to multi-jurisdictional collaboration during major incidents. On February 12, 2012, the US government signed FirstNet into law starting the implementation of the first nationwide broadband network specifically designed for public safety and there are now over 27 states opted-in to the network. After each state connects their Radio Access Network (RAN) to the FirstNet core network, public safety jurisdictions the US will be able to collaborate across federal, state and local lines for the first time.

8. Resiliency Technologies

Resiliency has been a key focus of many large government agencies across the country. Through the implementation of resiliency strategies and the rise of the Chief Resiliency Officer, government agencies are continuing to find ways to embed resiliency within operations. New technologies are also making it easier for agencies to test resiliency strategies through dynamic situational modeling.

9. Intelligent Video Analysis

As wearable and mounted cameras become more prevalent within public safety, many agencies have begun using advanced video analysis software to analyze and detect suspicious behavior in real-time. In addition, the previously recorded video footage and metadata can also be used for pattern detection and risk mitigation.

10. Next-Generation 911

As E911 has become an industry standard, many public safety agencies have begun implementing new text-to-911 capabilities. This new capability allows users in distress to send a text message to a 911 dispatch center if they are unable to call through a voice line. You can expect to see this expand to sending messages, video, and other data to help 911 dispatch centers have a greater awareness of the situation at hand.

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