4 examples of how public safety organizations are using technology

Advances in technology have transformed the way public safety organizations operate as they work to make cities safer and smarter. From cutting-edge computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems to mobile apps providing situational awareness for field personnel, technology used in public safety is advancing.

The prevalence of technology within organizations and their level of confidence in it was the focus of a survey conducted by our team here at Hexagon. The findings of the study are available as part of a research brief, “Technology & its use in public safety organizations.”

What did we learn from the results? Technology is used by public safety agencies in myriad ways and contributes to high performance in organizations.

Although the survey responses were completely anonymous, here are a few examples of how some public safety agencies have used technology to improve their operations, increase safety, bolster communications, and empower personnel. Other anonymous examples can be found within the research brief.

1. Strengthening operations & response

As Canada’s largest provincewide health system, Alberta Health Services (AHS) employs more than 5,600 emergency medical services (EMS) workers supporting more than a half-million emergency and transfer calls each year. Operational data was available to personnel, but without a unified system, reports were often inconsistent.

AHS selected a business intelligence solution to work with its existing CAD. The decision led to a dramatic enhancement in its reporting capabilities, empowering call-takers in the public safety answering point (PSAP) to make strategic decisions on everything from operational strategies to resources.

With the new system, EMS staff could generate anywhere from 150 to 200 daily reports. AHS business units also utilized the reports to measure performance and identify areas in need of improvement.

Learn more about how Alberta Health Services transformed their operations by downloading the case study now.

2. Enhancing transportation security & incident planning

Canadian Pacific Railway, a 12,000-mile transcontinental freight railway operating in both Canada and the United States, transports everything from gasoline to bulk commodities like wheat. To bolster security for its people and infrastructure, CP Rail deployed an industry-leading CAD system with a mobile capability extending critical information to personnel in the field.

It also chose two other tech solutions – a robust records management solution to mitigate risks and support operations and a planning and response solution to coordinate resources in the event of major events and unplanned disasters.

The new technologies not only resulted in increased protection for CP Rail’s personnel, assets, and infrastructure, but they also streamlined operations. Taking a layered approach to implementing the technology also enabled CP Rail to engage in new collaborative opportunities with internal and external parties.

Learn more about how CP Rail enhanced security and incident planning by listening to this podcast.

3. Ensuring efficient response & regional collaboration

As public safety agencies grow to meet local and regional demands, ensuring peak service can be a challenge. Zurich City Police, comprised of 1,700 officers and 500 civil employees, responds to 160,000 emergency calls and nearly 60,000 incidents per year. To ensure optimal performance, the agency leveraged technology to enhance internal and external collaboration while ensuring the safety and security of more than 400,000 people.

To improve its response, Zurich City Police deployed SMS location capabilities, which helped call-takers identify caller locations without violating privacy. The agency also augmented its CAD system with a mobile solution that provided real-time information to officers in the field via smartphones and tablets.

Needing to work more closely with regional agencies during major events, Zurich City Police selected a major event management solution to enhance collaboration. It allows all organizations (i.e., police, fire, ambulance, air rescue, and rail security) to share a common operating picture, while also providing the location of GPS-tracked units.

Learn more about how Zurich City Police leveraged technology to improve response and collaboration by downloading the case study now.

4. Improving workflows & safety with tech

Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) in Ontario, Canada, serves more than 500,000 citizens across 1,000 square kilometers. Like AHS and CP Rail, HRPS relies on new and evolving technology, including a mobile application that pushes critical information from the agency’s CAD to responders in the field.

The mobile solution improved workflow efficiencies and provided flexibility to responders in the field by allowing them to access data and send information back to the PSAP. And because of the solution’s GPS tracking capability, it ensured a heightened level of safety because dispatchers could see an officer’s location.

In addition to mobile tech, HRPS is an example of how data analytics can transform a public safety organization. To ensure appropriate staff levels during peak periods and reduce crime, it deployed a data analytics solution to improve both areas. The agency’s reliance on data also resulted in the creation of a unique police analytics unit responsible for finding new ways to make policing more efficient.

Learn more about how Halton Regional Police Service improved workflows and safety with technology solutions by downloading the case study now.


Technology used in public safety clearly plays a critical role in not only improving operations, but also ensuring organizations perform at peak levels. Public safety personnel who responded to Hexagon’s survey indicated technology is prevalent within their organizations, and there’s a heightened degree of confidence in it.

To explore the survey results and understand the state of public safety technology, download the research brief, “Technology & its use in public safety organizations.”

For more information on how your organization can reap the benefits of deploying the latest technology, check out Hexagon’s portfolio of next-generation public safety solutions.


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