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Can Amazon Put Its Mark on New Public Safety Tech?

The retailer and cloud computing giant has announced the first cohort of the AWS GovTech Accelerator Program. Thirteen startups focused on public safety and courts will soon get a chance to impress the public sector.

The Amazon logo on the side of a building.
Amazon has given its seal of approval to 13 government technology startups that want to change public safety and court operations in the years to come.

Those companies stand as the first group of gov tech operations invited into the new AWS GovTech Accelerator, launched in June.

AWS, of course, stands for Amazon Web Services, the retailer’s cloud computing arm. The accelerator is just the latest signal that Amazon wants to play a bigger role in gov tech while also promoting AWS.

One of the general goals of the accelerator, according to a statement from Amazon, is developing next-generation tools that can help public safety agencies reduce crime and recidivism while building community engagement.

The move comes as law enforcement and court systems face such challenges as low staffing, racial strife, public distrust and aging emergency dispatch and records management technology — challenges that in turn are helping to spark investment and innovation in this particular part of the broader gov tech space.

“911 call centers are facing unprecedented challenges with high call volumes, legacy technology and short staffing,” said Kim Majerus, vice president of global education and U.S. state and local government at AWS, in the statement. “Courts and other public safety organizations are being targeted by a rising number of cyber events.”

The Amazon accelerator program runs four weeks — notably shorter than at least one similar effort in gov tech, the program operated by CivStart, a nonprofit that recently named its new two-year cohort. Amazon based its selections on factors that included “the innovative and unique nature of each project,” relevance and how creatively the companies used AWS technology.

The 13 participants will “receive a customized set of valuable business development resources as well as AWS tools and technical guidance to enhance each startup’s unique mission.”

Not only that, but the companies can show their tools to public-sector leaders at the 2023 AWS GovTech Accelerator demo day at the State of GovTech conference on Nov. 14.

The companies are:
  • 10-8 Systems, focused on “advanced, cloud-native computer aided dispatch and records management software.”
  • APDS, designed to reduce recidivism via a career readiness platform.
  • Atlas One, whose platform crowdsources tips, evidence and similar information.
  • eHawk, which focuses on such areas as pre-trial and post-trail supervision.
  • ForceMetrics, which provides “rapid access” to public safety data.
  • Intrepid Networks LLC, whose Intrepid Response tool encourages communication and collaboration for public safety responses.
  • Medex Forensics, created to fight digital crime and disinformation via automated analysis.
  • Multitude Insights, whose tech is meant to boost collaboration among “law enforcement agencies and public safety stakeholders.”
  • R3 Score Technologies, which “is reinventing traditional criminal background checks with its socially responsible risk index.”
  • Revir Technologies, a digital evidence management system provider.
  • School Guardian, whose school safety platform employs AI.
  • Wi-Fiber, a network infrastructure provider whose applications are meant to “protect communities.”
  • ZeroEyes, an AI-powered weapons detection platform.