“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.
You are probably already doing it and just don’t realize it. Ask any of your veteran officers, “where are our highest crime areas?”, “who do we deal with the most?” and they will all have answers for you, and they will be pretty similar. This is what intelligence-led is all about: taking the information you already have and doing something useful with it. That last part is usually the gap in most departments ‒ doing something with it. Officers have this information, but rarely do they put it to use or share it with other officers and command staff. This is for a multitude of reasons, as officers are told: “stay in your zone/beat”, “drive around and make sure the public sees you”, and “don’t get into anything so you can answer your calls”. All generally good tenants of policing, but don’t allow for the intelligence-led “focused” way of policing.
If you know where your crime is generally and where it isn’t generally, then why not focus your patrols in the areas where crime is? All too often policing turns into a game of, “drive around and see if you find something while answering calls in between.” This is akin to the “spray and pray” method of firearms, where you fire your weapon multiple times in multiple directions with the assumption that you will surely hit something. We would never teach our officers to do this. We teach them to be precise and exacting on the firearms range. How about using the same precise and exacting nature in the rest of their job? Why not go to where you know the crime is and hang out there until you get a call? I guarantee your mere increased presence in these high crime areas will, at the very least, disrupt the criminal element in these areas. Now, by no means am I suggesting a neglect of the other areas of your city, just a focus on the higher crime areas. This is, of course, a very elementary breakdown of intelligence-led policing, but it’s an easy illustration of a starting point.
Intelligence-led policing is taking all of the information your officers already have, coupling it with other local, state, and federal intelligence, adding it to the crime data you have compiled in your records, and mixing it together to create an intelligence product that your entire department can use. Again, this is not far from what you are doing now, it’s just a more structured way of putting it all together and, most importantly, getting it out to your officers so they can use it every day, all day.
Stay tuned as I look at the critical first step for implementing an intelligence-led policing model in my next blog. 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.
Daniel (D.J.) Seals is a Former Crime Analyst and Detective, and Current Public Safety Industry Expert at Motorola Solutions.
Precise 9-1-1 caller location from RapidSOS has been integrated with CommandCentral to help find and better respond to those in need.
In April, we announced a partnership with RapidSOS to deliver precise location information for U.S. 9-1-1 calls made from smartphones. The initial integration shared precise location across the emergency call, from citizens in need to call-takers using our CallWorks application. We are now pleased to announce the expansion of this valuable functionality, and more, into our CommandCentral platform, starting with CommandCentral Inform.
CommandCentral Inform, which provides a map-based, common operating picture of events and resource locations, will now include a 9-1-1 call data layer to display caller locations alongside other critical operational information. But even better, is the ability for CommandCentral Inform to also display additional data sent from the smartphone upon a call being made. This could include health information of the caller, demographic information and even telematics from connected cars, wearables and other IoT data sources - all to provide greater context to the call.
By expanding into the CommandCentral platform, this vital information is now not only accessible to Call Takers using CallWorks, but also Supervisors, Analysts, Command Staff and even First Responders who are in need of increased situational awareness for better decision making.
This integration also shows our increased commitment to providing the most seamlessly integrated public safety software suite, from call intake to incident resolution. “We are able to provide an uninterrupted flow of information. This creates more efficient and streamlined workflows” said Andrew Sinclair, the newly appointed head of Motorola Solutions’ Software Enterprise. “Because of integration across the portfolio, first responders are able to act more collaboratively and efficiently and ultimately be that much more successful.”
"The integration of data from the RapidSOS NG9-1-1 Clearinghouse into CommandCentral Inform creates an unprecedented flow of information around an emergency," said Michael Martin, CEO of RapidSOS. "The result is accelerated response, first responders with unparalleled situational awareness, and lives saved."
This new integration will be on display at the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) 2017 Annual Conference & Expo August 13th - 16th in Denver, Colorado at both the Motorola Solutions booth #801 and RapidSOS booth #747.
Bradley Janitz is Global Marketing Manager at Motorola Solutions.
Law enforcement agencies know only too well that preventing a crime from happening takes precedence over solving it. An effective crime prevention program can help agencies respond proactively to a situation rather than having to react to it. And the one most important aspect of a successful crime prevention program is community engagement.
Residents possess a wealth of knowledge about what is happening in the community, and are usually willing to cooperate with police by sharing what they know. What is it then, that deters them from doing so? Typically, they tend to be concerned about their privacy and any potential repercussions that may ensue. How can a law enforcement agency go about allaying these concerns and effectively engage with their communities? Agencies can experience more effective community engagement in 3 steps:
Connect & Converse: Don’t expect your communities to seek out methods to communicate with you. Instead, find where they connect and how they connect, then start a dialog. Social media can be an effective platform to establish that initial connection and initiate conversation with residents in your community, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or any other medium. Initiating a two-way dialog with them allows you to listen to and address any concerns they may have regarding the potential repercussions of engaging with your agency. Then follow it up with good old fashioned face-to-face interaction. Nothing builds trust and empathy like looking someone in the face and hearing each other's voices. Doing so helps instill trust and convey to citizens the importance of their role in a successful crime prevention program.
Empower with the Right Tools: You must give something before you get something. Empower your community by providing them with the right set of tools and information to engage with you. Educate them about the advantages and capabilities of the tools your agency uses, emphasizing how these tools help inform them while preserving their individual privacy and safety. For instance, providing a crime map so citizens can see police activity, or a simple crime tip service that allows them to attach multimedia when submitting an anonymous tip, provides them with tools to increase their awareness and provide you with critical intelligence, aiding your department’s ability to serve and respond more effectively. Providing tools is only half of the solution. You must share with your community members best practices on using these tools when engaging with your agency to help them maximize their value and better help you prevent crime.
Promote the Impact: It’s important to promote and share success stories with your community to let them know how they helped you. Letting them know what a difference they make plays an important role in encouraging citizens to work in proactive partnership with your agency and feel invested in the safety of their community. The Chicago Police Department, recently shared one such success story with their community in an effort to promote engagement. Chicago PD recently launched TipSubmit and within just fifteen minutes of receiving a tip, they were able to make a juvenile gun arrest, confiscate the weapon and successfully prevent a crime from happening by taking a gun off the streets. Chicago PD then quickly shared their success story with the community via Twitter.
Better engage your community to help you prevent crime and solve more cases. Let them know that you’re in this together and make it easy for them to connect with you.
Steve Sebestyen is Product Manager of Community Engagement Solutions at Motorola Solutions.