Part six of our "Tech is Doing What?!" series
If there’s one thing that’s consistent in policing, it’s that nothing ever really changes yet there is always something new.
Doesn’t make sense? Let me explain...
In 1829, London’s first police force was established by Sir Robert Peel. This act was met with great opposition as many Londoners feared police forces, having only experienced the French Gendarmerie, known for being secretive and militarized. To ease those fears, Sir Robert wanted to let the people know that the London police force would be different. They were going to do policing right, so he outlined nine principles for an ethical police force.
Principle 1: “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”
Principle 2: “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”
Principle 3: “Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”
Principle 4: “The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”
Principle 5: “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”
Principle 6: “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.”
Principle 7: “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
Principle 8: “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”
Principle 9: “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”
Nearly 200 years later, these principles are still referenced by public safety figures such as Commissioner Bratton of the NYPD. And reading through them, it’s clear why: the fundamentals of law enforcement haven’t changed.
And really, crime hasn’t either. People still fight, plunder and kill. In the 1800s, thievery was done through pick pocketing, a crime where money was literally being taken from victims’ pockets. Nowadays, thieves figuratively take money out of our pockets using techniques such as phishing or identify hacking. Crimes don’t change - their methodologies do.
Like with classic policing and crime, community-based methods are the same at their core, yet details are different. Community policing is still all about building trust through positive interactions. But for many agencies, the nature of those interactions has shifted, putting more focus on digital touch points. Policing has not changed, but the vehicles of delivery are due for an upgrade. Throughout this series, we’ve looked at various ways that new technology is enabling smarter, faster responses. After speaking to numerous officers, the ideas of intelligence-led policing (ILP) and data-driven approaches to crime and traffic safety (DDACTS) resonates. But what about community-oriented policing? How can a philosophy based in personal relationships be positively affected by technology?
Take, for instance, the many agencies such as Ottawa, ON, Fort Worth, TX, and San Jose, CA, who have implemented crime mapping software to simplify their citizens’ access to crime data, reduce requests for information, and increase public confidence. The same positive community interactions that were previously conducted in person or over the phone have been automated and digitized. Sites like CrimeReports.com and RaidsOnline.com receive thousands of visits each week from curious residents looking for more information about crime in their community.
Other cities like Seattle and Baltimore have taken this a step further with open data portals that go beyond just public safety information, providing transparency into government data sets. Similarly, these open data portals serve to enhance community-oriented policing by fostering a government that is transparent, participatory, and collaborative. “The vision is to transform how citizens and government interface. We’ve made it easier for citizens to get what they need.” stated Kristin Russell, CIO and Secretary of Technology, State of Colorado. As citizens benefit from the increased transparency and faster information requests, they become more engaged, and the public’s trust in city and public safety officials increases.
Even human interactions are now being supplemented with technology. Many police officers are taking to social media to enhance their community relations. Officer Tommy Norman, a police officer out of North Little Rock, Arkansas, started posting his interactions in the North Little Rock community on his Instagram page a few years ago, and through interactive images and videos, he has gained over 100,000 followers. Not only do his community policing efforts impact those in North Little Rock, but now thousands of individuals in and outside of his community experience those positive interactions as well.
To achieve the same end, Officer Daniels doesn’t necessarily focus his social postings on community policing but posts lots of content to his 400,000 followers around his life as a police officer: community interactions, cop jokes, current memes and trends. All of these efforts humanize the profession and show that the police are people too.
The human element of community-oriented policing is critical to building sustainable, trusting relationships, but the advent of technology has enabled it to spread farther than ever before. While the fundamentals remain consistent, it is important for public safety agencies to embrace the new mediums through which they can keep their community connected, safer, and more confident.
Learn more about Motorola’s Smart Public Safety Solutions.
Ross Venhuizen is the Global Marketing Specialist for Motorola’s Smart Public Safety Solutions.
Starting January 1, 2016, Motorola Solutions Intrinsically Safe radios will be accredited with the TIA-4950 standard for Hazardous Location certification of two-way radios by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and will no longer produce Intrinsically Safe two-way radios approved to the Factory Mutual (FM) standard FM3610_88, which expired in 2012.
As you and your radio fleet move into the new year with the new standard, keep these four things in mind to ensure a smooth transition:
Dax Lopez is the Mission Critical Mobility Business Development Manager at Motorola Solutions.
Criminal activity is not restricted by jurisdictional boundaries, and neither should access to essential information.
There is no limit to the number or types of incidents that law enforcement agencies can be called on to address. For everything from a traffic incident and domestic disturbance, to human trafficking and terrorism, public safety agencies need information to work smarter. As an incident unfolds, any data that provides key information about people, property or location involved in the incident is invaluable for agencies to respond quickly and effectively. Access to this data is even more crucial if the persons involved in the incident are not previously known to the agency.
Take, for example, an officer responding to a call related to a domestic disturbance at a house for the first time: If a resident at the house has a prior conviction for illegal possession of a firearm in a neighboring state, the officer will not be aware she needs to be more cautious and possibly call for backup before arriving at the house. Not only does data sharing between agencies aid time sensitive decisions, but it also ensures that appropriate measures are taken to ensure the safety of officers and citizens involved. Immediate access to a person’s criminal history in another jurisdiction can help officers and detectives:
Understanding the immense benefits, Motorola Solutions has developed innovative cloud-based solutions for interjurisdictional data sharing. Solutions range from local interconnections between record management systems at two or more departments in a region, to large scalable networks designed to interconnect every record management system across the state, and between states, at different levels of government. These solutions come with advanced search and query tools that enable users to find specific information or additional associations related to a person, property or incident. By leveraging the power of data sharing, sophisticated descriptive and predictive analytical tools can find trends in criminal activity at a macro level across geographical regions over time. While there are concerns regarding moving sensitive data out of an agency’s secure premise and into commercially owned infrastructure, Motorola Solutions has worked with cloud vendors to ensure that its public safety solutions meet security requirements at the local, state and federal level.
The benefits of data sharing have now become a reality. Secure cloud-based solutions enable agencies across the country to share, access, and communicate more easily. Connecting public safety data across jurisdictions to help protect officers and citizens -- now that’s smart public safety.
Learn more about Motorola Solutions’ Intelligence-led Public Safety Solutions here.
Amit Arora is Product Manager, Intelligence-Led Public Safety Solutions, Motorola Solutions.