FRESH IDEAS IN PUBLIC SAFETY


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      • Simplifying The Officer Body-Camera Experience: Get The Most Out Of Your Investment

        Published 4 days ago by Chi Tran
        • Body Worn Camera
        • Law Enforcement

        “With the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, we can do things like turn our body-worn cameras (BWCs) into sensors that continually monitor their environments.” This is the future, according to Dan Law, Chief Data Scientist here at Motorola Solutions - and he’s not wrong. Expectations for public safety are increasing and requiring technological innovation that looks beyond a single device.

        Before purchasing BWCs, you should recognize how this new piece of technology can impact frontline officers’ ability to successfully do their job and protect the community. To get the best results, reduce complexity, and ultimately help law enforcement better achieve their mission, we are outlining the most important things to consider when evaluating a BWC solution in this four part blog series.

        Consideration #4: Technology Will Progress. Will The Value Of Your Investment?

        BWCs are the next step toward more data-driven policing. But technology will continue to evolve and with it, the tendency for complexity. Thus, devices, networks and applications capable of working together seamlessly in an ecosystem will become even more important.

        When considering a BWC purchase and how it will affect your department’s ability to grow, the ecosystem it is a part of is just as important as its wearability, operability, and intelligent management features. From this viewpoint, the BWC transforms from a singularly purposed device into a part of a true policing solution platform. Therefore, it becomes critical to weigh a BWC vendor’s total breadth of expertise delivering larger value to organizations.

        Some of the simple things to note include the ability to expand your video beyond body-worn cameras. What about in-vehicle cameras, helmet mounting options, fixed surveillance experience and interview-room options? Does the solution offer the ability to integrate across those different touchpoints?

        Now think bigger. Think about the potential of artificial intelligence, facial recognition and data analysis to not only make the body-worn camera a passive video capture device, but an active partner for officers in the field.

        Be sure to check out our previous three articles on the most important considerations for deploying body-worn cameras to simplify the officer experience. If you want the full brief of our considerations, visit our Digital Evidence 101 page for that exclusive content plus much more!

        Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series.

        Chi Tran is an Innovation Designer & Researcher at Motorola Solutions.

      • Time To Take Out The Trash! Good Crime Analysis Relies On Clean Data

        Published 6 days ago by Daniel Seals
        • Intelligence
        • Law Enforcement

        So you’re getting into intelligence-led policing? But have you taken a look at your own data sets? And I mean a real good look. Over and over again I see departments make mistakes by going out and purchasing mapping software, intelligence software, and the like, put it immediately to use and then disagree with the output they receive. I speak to many of these departments, and after a quick look into their main data sets I find that they are falling into the old adage of garbage in, garbage out.

        So if you fall into the category I just described, you are by far not alone. As a matter of fact I would venture to say that you are in the majority. I even made the same mistakes when I began our intelligence-led policing initiative. I remember I was so excited to get going with our new software that I never bothered to really look at the data that I was putting into the system. After all, I had been using our records management system for 20 years, surely the data in it is correct, right? What I found was a resounding answer of no, it was not good data. Now don't get me wrong the basics of the data were correct, the type of crime, suspect, victim, things like that were solid. What was not so correct, however, was our mapping data and how our crime types translated into our software. Let's talk about a couple of things that you can do to turn your bad data into good data.

        First let's talk about mapping. Very few mapping systems, whether you are using GIS or some other type of mapping system, are always spot on. The reasons for these inaccuracies vary widely. From inaccurate GIS mapping at the onset, to duplicate addresses in your city that are only separated by a North-South or East-West designation, or simply user mistake at time of input.  Although I could not change these map points in my records management system (which would typically be your most logical fix), I could change them in our software. With just a few steps I was able to take my map, with an average of 150 inaccuracies a month, and turn it into a completely accurate crime map, with no inaccuracies.

        Now that we have fixed your mapping problem, let's talk about making sure your crime types are in the proper categories in order for you to get the proper Intel. Depending upon county, state, or locality, crime terms can vary widely. For instance, in my state, we don't use the term larceny, we use theft instead. We don't use the term embezzlement; we use a variety of codes under fraud. While these computer systems seem to do it all, it is our duty to make sure that our information is laid out correctly within our systems. If the data is in the wrong category, when you run a report on a specific crime type, you will be missing data in your final report. Luckily, our software allowed us to make crime type adjustments and rules for translation from our records management system. But similarly to the mapping, if your software doesn’t have that feature, you may otherwise have to make those adjustments directly to the records themselves.

        Without accurate data, it is impossible to do the crime analysis that aids your intelligence-led policing initiatives. This year let's make sure to strengthen our actionable intelligence by cleaning up our bad data.

        Coming up next we’ll discuss how to get your agency personnel familiar with using all the new capabilities at your disposal with a purpose-built crime analytics solution. Until then, check out our crime analytics resource site to learn more about how you can properly evaluate solutions so your mapping issues are a thing of the past.

        Read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. 

        Daniel (D.J.) Seals is a Former Crime Analyst and Detective, and Current Public Safety Industry Expert at Motorola Solutions.

      • Simplifying The Officer Body-Camera Experience: Officers Can't Afford To Be Distracted

        Published 10 days ago by Chi Tran
        • Body Worn Camera
        • Law Enforcement

        As any police agency can attest, new technology deployments can have unexpected impacts that negate a solution’s intended value. This is no different for body-worn cameras (BWCs). Deploying a solution that changes your officer’s existing workflow stands to also leave them vulnerable and potentially in danger.

        Before purchasing BWCs, you should recognize how this new piece of technology can impact frontline officers’ ability to successfully do their job and protect the community. To get the best results, reduce complexity, and ultimately help law enforcement better achieve their mission, we are outlining the most important things to consider when evaluating a BWC solution in this four part blog series.

        Consideration #3: Manual Processes Pre-Occupy Officers

        While in-field tagging can reduce the time officers would spend back in the station, it can potentially reduce alert patrol time and lead to difficulties compiling evidence later if video data isn’t standardized or has to be manually added.

        Instead, a truly efficient process is one that keeps officers on the streets and engaged with the community while minimizing distractions. Tight technology integration that automatically associates metadata and other pertinent information with video can provide the necessary context to a clip while also making it more efficient to find and share that video later. This integration could be a BWC that can automatically associate capture location data and officer ID from an integrated radio, or an incident type and number automatically integrated from a computer-aided dispatch and records management system.

        Automated controls over video footage tags and metadata can also ensure standardization for grouping, filtering and searching for content when it’s needed later. This means that not only are your officers safer while in the field, but also waste less time before or after shifts on administrative tasks.

        Stay tuned as we outline our next consideration for deploying the right BWCs for your officers. If you can’t wait and want to know our four considerations now, check out our Digital Evidence 101 page for that exclusive content plus much more!

        Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

        Chi Tran is an Innovation Designer & Researcher at Motorola Solutions.

      • Getting Started: The Critical First Step For Implementing An Intelligence-Led Policing Model

        Published 13 days ago by Daniel Seals
        • Intelligence
        • Law Enforcement

        Compiling many different information sources is key to making intelligence-led policing work. So many times police departments are satisfied and content with the information they currently have. We tend to live in an informational world contained within the four walls of our departments, ignoring outside informational sources. Obviously the most immediate source of information will be your in house records management system which should be used in conjunction with those notebooks your officers keep with them on the road. Those little notebooks very rarely get included in your department's intelligence data, but are very often the most accurate source of direct intelligence involving the daily workings of your community. 

        Unfortunately, there still seems to be a divide between county Sheriff’s departments and municipal Police Departments, floating an ideal of “us and them”. This must be broken down in order to compile the next most important data set; that of your neighboring agencies. The criminal element within your jurisdiction does not stop committing crimes because they come to your city/county limits. We all understand that our criminals are also our neighboring agencies criminals. Criminals are irrespective of jurisdictional lines and do not care what color uniform you wear. As a matter of fact, it is in the criminal’s best interest to move their criminal escapades around. They know we do not share information as freely as we should. We must combat this by breaking down the informational barriers between departments. By sharing local intelligence, we can finally act as one law enforcement body and not individual agencies.

        After you have a grasp and have taken full advantage of all of your local intelligence sources, it is time to... yes I am going to say it… reach out to your state and federal sources. If we thought the perceived divide between local agencies was wide, then the perceived divide between local agencies and state and federal agencies must be the Grand Canyon. However, since 9/11, state and federal agencies have begun to understand the great impact local intelligence has on national security. Case in point; it was discovered, after the fact, that the terrorists involved in 9/11 drove through the state of Georgia. Not only did they drive through, they were traffic-stopped a number of times. Even though some of the terrorists were already on a national watch list, they were never flagged because so many of our smaller local systems were not directly linked with the national system. Reach out to your state and local agencies, join their intelligence sharing meetings/e-mail servers, and don’t just read what they send out - contribute!

        Would 9/11 have happened as it was planned had one of those traffic stops flagged the terrorists? Have we really moved on toward sharing intelligence? What steps are you taking? Are they really forward steps, or just “going through the motions”? It is up to you to reach out to all possible intelligence sources, compile them, make that information accessible to your stakeholders and put intelligence-led policing into action!

        Stay tuned as I dive into your next step when implementing intelligence-led policing in my next blog - taking out the trash. Until then feel free to check out our crime analytics resource site to learn more about how a purpose-built crime analytics solution can aid your intelligence-led policing efforts by helping you discover new crime patterns hidden in your data.

        Read Part 1 of this series: The Intelligence-Led Policing Definition: Adopting Data-Driven Policing

        Daniel (D.J.) Seals is a Former Crime Analyst and Detective, and Current Public Safety Industry Expert at Motorola Solutions.

      • Simplifying The Officer Body-Camera Experience: What About Equipment Overload?

        Published 17 days ago by Chi Tran
        • Body Worn Camera
        • Law Enforcement

        Picture this: a typical uniformed law enforcement officer carries a weapon, radio, remote speaker microphone, baton, pepper spray, handcuffs, gloves, ammunition, at least one smartphone and a personal device, while wearing ballistic body armor under their uniform. That’s a lot of gear to carry around and be ready to run with in an instant. Now there is a nationwide push to add body-worn cameras (BWCs) to the mix.

        Before purchasing BWCs, you should recognize how this new piece of technology can impact frontline officers’ ability to successfully do their job and protect the community. To get the best results, reduce complexity, and ultimately help law enforcement better achieve their mission, we are outlining the most important things to consider when evaluating a BWC solution in this four part blog series.

        Consideration #2: Officers Have Equipment Overload - Don’t Add To It

        Think back to that laundry list of equipment law enforcement officers are carrying and add to it the technology in the police car, such as the radio, dashboard displays, a laptop and more. The technology overload officers face can make it hard to justify adding anything else. Yet, BWCs are rapidly becoming mandatory, requiring the adoption of a new piece of technology with minimal consideration to the burden it places on officers.

        Unfortunately, many BWCs are additive in nature, some even requiring a companion smartphone to manage the video, placing additional burdens on users. While the BWC/ smartphone combination may intend to create procedural efficiencies by allowing officers to tag video in the field, it inevitably leads to efficiency shortfalls because it adds to the sheer number of devices that have to be accounted for, secured and managed. Instead, a BWC should be about facilitating transparency and accountability without making an officer’s life and the agency’s operations more complex. An officer already has new policies to learn and new BWC standard operating procedures to memorize, so why add another distraction?

        One way to reduce this burden is to use BWCs that do more than just capture video. For instance, a BWC with an integrated user interface can eliminate the need to carry an extra smartphone while still allowing advanced features such as remote video tagging. Integrating remote speaker microphone (RSM) capabilities into the BWC can also go a step further to remove the need for multiple devices.

        Stay tuned as we outline our next consideration for deploying the right BWCs for your officers. If you can’t wait and want to know our four considerations now, check out our Digital Evidence 101 page for that exclusive content plus much more!

        Check out Part 1 of this series.

        Chi Tran is an Innovation Designer & Researcher at Motorola Solutions.

      • Simplifying The Officer Body-Camera Experience: The First Thing You Should Consider

        Published 25 days ago by Chi Tran
        • Body Worn Camera
        • Law Enforcement

        Officers can feel inundated with technology, some officers see body-worn cameras (BWCs) as another new piece of technology that they will have to learn.” These are the words of Chief of Police Roberto Villaseñor of Tucson but are echoed by Chiefs across the nation.*

        Before purchasing BWCs or other video capture devices, you should recognize how this new piece of technology can impact frontline officers’ ability to successfully do their job and protect the community. To get the best results, reduce complexity, and ultimately help law enforcement better achieve their mission, we are outlining the most important things to consider when evaluating a BWC solution in this four part blog series.

        Consideration #1: Body-Worn Cameras Are Not One-Size-Fits-All

        Officers are obviously different shapes and sizes. They have to attach or carry various items while on patrol, and are often wearing different types of uniforms that affect the way they wear their gear. These variations can have a direct impact on whether a BWC can be used successfully.

        In the same way a good radio speaker microphone (RSM) can adapt to various users, a good BWC should too. Officers should not have to compromise the way they operate, as that immediately minimizes a BWC’s value and detracts from its promise of aiding in evidence capture.

        When evaluating BWCs consider wearing options, camera field of view, and camera articulation, which is the ability of the camera to be positioned or rotated based on how an officer wears it. These factors allow users to wear BWCs comfortably and without restriction. They also accommodate various wearing positions and officer body types, while still enabling effective evidence capture.

        An adjacent factor here is also that law enforcement officers take great pride in their uniforms and in their appearance while wearing them. Many BWCs may mount in a way that diminishes that appearance. This factor alone is not critical, but giving it consideration respects the uniform and your men and women who wear it.

        Stay tuned as we outline our next consideration for deploying the right BWCs for your officers. If you can’t wait and want to know our four considerations now, check out our Digital Evidence 101 page for that exclusive content plus much more!

        Chi Tran is an Innovation Designer & Researcher at Motorola Solutions.

        *https://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/472014912134715246869.pdf

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