Tech support

Public safety agencies explore technology to partner with social services


Video and data analysis addresses risks for stakeholders

Several key technologies could help support police efforts to offload calls that do not require a response from law enforcement.

IDC Worldwide Research vice president for public safety Alison Brooks sees video as a possible catalyst. Police could, for example, use a live broadcast to give mental health professionals eyes on a scene – a potentially safer way to access this information.

“As part of the traditional accompaniment with mental health support, you put that person in the police car and maybe expose them to an element of danger,” says Brooks. With a video consultation, the police can attract experts without endangering them.

Data analysis can also play a role in driving alternative responses by helping law enforcement agencies understand which approaches work best for different types of calls. “You can use the data to modify response patterns so that the right people are really stepping in at the right time, including social services,” says Brooks.

TO EXPLORE: What technologies can help you evolve your public safety response?

Subido says the district uses such tools in its efforts. “With the analysis of the data, we can begin to see: If we had researched this or that, would that have been a safer answer? ” she says. “What are some questions we could ask to help us know if sending the Department of Behavioral Health is the right answer? “

This approach is already showing results in police services across the country. “Communities that have become analytical with their data and changed their responses have demonstrated significant reductions in service calls and huge savings in revenue,” says Brandon Kooi, professor of criminal justice at Aurora University in Ill. .

Along with data analysis, visualization tools help police respond more effectively.

“The data has to tell a story, and that story will or will not be understood depending on how it is presented,” Subido explains. “We use Tableau for visualization so that as a call comes in, we can acquire data, enter it into the database, and pull reports based on a timeline. As this effort progresses, it will be important that our data scientists are truly able to tell this story visually. “

RELATED: Public security agencies are using technology to evolve their non-crisis responses.

Integration of command center capabilities delivers results

Some are looking to modernize the capacities of call centers and data centers to help create a seamless workflow between police emergency response and community partners. For example, a modernized system can synthesize digital data, whether it’s on someone’s cell phone, into video footage of something happening on premises, or on social media.


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