The amount of data coming into public safety answering points (PSAPs), emergency communications centers (ECCs) and real-time crime centers (RTCCs) is increasing in volume, velocity and variety. Data is an asset, but if it isn’t leveraged properly, it can become an agency’s burden. The right police software can transform data into actionable information to boost efficiency, enable better decision-making, create critical situational awareness and ultimately facilitate better outcomes.
What is data-driven policing?
Data is the backbone of public safety platforms and police software. It is more than statistics; it informs statistics and agency goals. Because of the tremendous amount of data inundating agencies and because public safety agencies are realizing the importance of real-time insights and trends that can be seen over time, law enforcement is increasingly turning to “data-driven policing.”
The IDC defines data-driven policing as “the ethical use of next-generation technology to manage heterogenous data sets and sources, to proactively bolster decision-making, enhance situational awareness, and improve workflow for police personnel.”
The problem is that most agencies operate disparate systems, which leads to inaccessible data and workflow inefficiencies. The right police software makes that data accessible, useful and applicable to the real world. It also makes it digestible by the people who need it most, across all functions and roles. Additionally, it aids in public transparency initiatives.
How is data-driven public safety software beneficial?
Let’s consider the many new and different data sources available to public safety agencies today. Videos and photos from smartphones and other devices, body-worn cameras, increasingly modern surveillance feeds, CCTV footage, dashcams, drones, sensors and more. This is on top of the more “traditional” sources such as 911 calls, which are themselves evolving thanks to initiatives like Next-Generation 911 (NG11) that lead to even more data capture and sources.
As data sources become more complex and abundant, police software must keep pace. Agencies must transition from being reactive to proactive and choose police software that fits their current needs. Overwhelming amounts of data can make effective interpretations difficult. Public safety software focused on data and analytics gives agencies a single source of truth with deeper insights. Agencies should consider digital evidence management, assistive AI, collaboration and other next-gen software and capabilities in order to take advantage of the real-time intelligence and trends that can be unearthed and made accessible and actionable with the right solutions.
“If you want your agency to be data driven, you need to focus on having access to the data in your systems at your fingertips,” said Jack Williams, Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division director of portfolio marketing. “You can self serve and ultimately make better decisions and deliver information to people that helps them do their jobs more efficiently.”
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