Our customers ask, “What does the next five to ten years of public safety look like?” They need to reduce costs, be more efficient in delivering services, and keep officers and citizens safe. It’s a tough balancing act.
Unlike the consumer world, public safety has public scrutiny. A technology failure that’s a footnote in the media for a company is front page news for public safety. Agencies must work with a different set of rules and embark on a different journey as they adapt their technology.
Public safety is moving from being reactive to predictive and preventive. Agencies simply can’t wait until a catastrophe happens to take action. That’s why they’re looking at new ways to leverage and interconnect their technologies to avert, respond and solve crimes.
Three trends are driving this transformation...
1. The Cost of Citywide Problems is Escalating
A perfect storm is hitting major cities and testing public safety resources. Urbanization is on the upswing with more than 50 percent of the world living in cities. The severity and frequency of weather events is on the rise. The global population is aging. Adults, 60 years and older, are expected to more than double by 2050. When you add in limited natural resources and numerous targets for crime and terrorism in cities, no question, public safety must be equipped to have a coordinated response across agencies, and even countries.
2. Complexity is Increasing as the World Shifts to Services
Government moves to shared services brings about new benefits and pressures. While costs can be reduced and productivity increased, it also creates greater complexity.
Public safety agencies want to focus on the mission, not the technology. Their goal is to have predictable costs without worrying their investments will become obsolete. Better inter-agency coordination and interconnected technology can help them do it – but it’s challenging for agencies to set up themselves.
3. New Data is Proliferating and Civic Engagement is the Norm
Video, sensors, voice calls, photos and texts are streaming into command centers. So are other forms of civic engagement, like social media, which over 80 percent of police surveyed say helped them solve crimes. Billions of hours of surveillance footage is being captured each year. And then there’s the Internet of Things. It will consume 25 percent of all government external spending by 2018. One of the biggest challenges agencies will face is how to aggregate, prioritise and analyse all this data.
What can public safety do to keep cities safer?
Today, agencies can avert crime by predicting and preventing it pre-incident. They can respond with real-time situational awareness mid-incident as an event unfolds. Better analytics and data evidence is helping them solve crimes post-incident. The need is only going to increase in the next five to ten years.
As agencies connect their technologies together, they change the trajectory of a single moment while still in the moment. Risks are defused, disasters averted and cities become safer. When nothing happens, everything else can.
David Parry is Director, EA Marketing. David is on LinkedIn at uk.linkedin.com/in/davidgparry
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