Top 4 challenges in public safety (and how to solve them)

Your teams in the field are responding to an incident, but information is coming in from different systems and with incomplete information, resulting in fragmented communications that lengthen response time and create confusion. 

Does this story sound familiar? As public safety agencies modernize to avoid situations like these, they face challenges in four key areas: digital transformation hurdles, inflexible core systems, fragmented solutions and workforce challenges. Modern technologies like a public safety platform can determine how today’s standards, like NG911/112/999, are met seamlessly and efficiently. Holistic solutions that extend across the public safety ecosystem are the answer to overcome industry challenges. 

For all public safety agencies, a difficult challenge is ensuring seamless value across their technology ecosystems. Whether for fire, ambulance, police or border control, innovative solutions can ensure stakeholder benefits, empower agencies and their partners and help navigate regional nuances and evolving regulations, while driving long-term innovation across each public safety segment. 

“In the dynamic landscape of public safety, agencies are confronted with myriad challenges, from continuing an ongoing digital transformation to workforce shortages to inflexible core systems. Understanding these challenges is crucial in forging a path toward a more secure, technologically advanced and resilient future for public safety,” said Jack Williams, director, portfolio marketing for Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division. “Public safety agencies, regardless of their specific segment, desire a next-generation, comprehensive platform that emphasizes real-time collaboration and interoperability and extends value beyond traditional dispatch centers. They truly want a trusted partner, not just a vendor, with proven experience, global reach, local expertise and a commitment to innovation.” 

Challenge 1: Digital transformation hurdles

Digital transformation obstacles are complex as agencies are often at different stages of technology adoption. Old and outdated solutions hinder sustainable innovation, and make progress toward public trust, cybersecurity and privacy increasingly difficult. 

“Because of regulatory requirements, agencies have to digitize their systems,” said Williams. “Agencies’ main goals are responding to calls and ensuring community and resident safety. Digital transformation is a continuous thing and it’s challenging, but monolithic systems hinder agencies’ ability to adapt.” 

Public safety platforms need to be resilient and secure for the future or risk increased system downtime and confusion. Agencies need holistic solutions that will align diverse strategies while incorporating evolving technology, whether their infrastructure is on-premises, in the cloud or a hybrid of the two. Innovative systems give agencies the freedom to explore new aspects of technology without bogging down their everyday workflows. 

Challenge 2: Inflexible core systems

Stagnant core systems can inhibit innovation and extend an agency’s technical debt – when solutions focus on the short-term path instead of the best-fitting solution available – resulting in interoperability challenges, data inconsistencies and security vulnerabilities. And legacy technology has limitations when it comes to next-gen standards, automated calling and regulatory demands. These challenges are compounded with the necessity to comply with NG911/112/999 requirements. The adaptability challenges posed by these systems leaves agencies playing catch-up.  

Flexible, modular public safety platforms can eliminate technical debt and allow agencies to optimize operational efficiency. While meeting next-generation requirements, agencies can accomplish more with limited resources, gain strategic support and access flexible integration options. 

Challenge 3: Fragmented solutions

There is a demand throughout the public safety industry for a platform approach capable of extending value across diverse segments, including police, fire and EMS, border control and roadside assistance. Existing and legacy systems can lack the flexibility, modularity, agility and integration capabilities needed to meet today’s challenges.  

“Emergency calls aren’t always about crime. In fact, studies have shown less than half of the calls relate to crime. Modern systems need to be equipped to handle all manner of emergencies, be it health, socioeconomic or environmental,” Williams said. “A lot of existing solutions lack flexibility, hindering innovative response workflows. That’s why platform flexibility and integration capabilities are so important. A modern public safety platform should be able to handle a wide variety of public safety use-cases and workflows. Flexibility and the ability to adapt is key.” 

Modern, flexible public safety platforms can extend value across these different segments, enabling automated dispatch, collaboration and other advanced capabilities – creating a foundation that promotes workflow flexibility, the ability to integrate and interface with third-party systems and solutions for long-term ecosystem value. 

Challenge 4: Navigating workforce challenges

It’s no secret that public safety agencies are struggling when it comes to staffing. Workforce challenges like burnout, recruitment difficulties, low IT personnel retention and a lack of support mechanisms, such as assistive AI, can lead to an emergency communications center (ECC) on life support.  

Williams added, “Agencies are struggling with talent, cybersecurity and efficiency. The pieces of the puzzle to help are there, and government leaders need to focus on using innovative technologies, data and approaches that complete the picture.” 

Agencies need a strategic ally to navigate the challenges within their ecosystems. The right partner will empower agencies with experience and technology. Advanced solutions give agencies the power to achieve goals with real-time information, collaboration and secure decision-making capabilities. 

Ensuring long-haul success in public safety

Agencies want a true provider of solutions so they can extend value across the entire public safety ecosystem for the long haul. To forge a path to a secure, technologically advanced and resilient future, public safety agencies need a strong technology partner.  

The Hexagon public safety platform, available on-premises and in the cloud, offers integrated solutions for computer-aided dispatch, records management, collaboration and data sharing and video management/PSIM. ISO 27001 certification, assistive AI and advanced IoT integration set Hexagon apart, providing a secure, technologically advanced and resilient future for public safety agencies. 

“We have a global footprint with local know-how,” said Williams. “Hexagon isn’t the only vendor or solution agencies do business with. There’s a lot of interfacing in agencies and we’re the central nervous system of a public safety agency’s operations. We can extend value to new users – analysts, field workers and crisis responders, other partners in the ecosystem with our interoperability – and to our current partners by allowing them to continuously innovate.” 

Discover how your agency can go beyond with Hexagon. 

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