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No one knows the value of real-time data better than law enforcement personnel. The data collected from answering thousands of emergency calls and text messages, from body-worn camera and surveillance footage, can be critical in helping to deter crime and better protect the community.

According to the 2016 Law Enforcement Survey Report, the requirement to access data during an incident continues to rise, with 91% of law enforcement personnel now expecting data to be available at least some of the time. Those wanting data to always be available during an incident represent 67% of respondents, with Chiefs (78%), Captains (83%) and Patrol Officers (70%) exhibiting a higher demand for constant access. This is a 50% increase from the Motorola Solutions 2015 Public Safety Survey and a direct result of the ever growing data sources available.

As the survey highlights, today’s law enforcement personnel want more intelligence when they respond to an incident. They want to connect with the community in new ways and they want to leverage new multi-media sources of information and smart devices to do their job better.

With 64% of the population using smartphones in 2016, we already know that citizens are adept at sharing text, photos and video as part of a call for help—but are agencies ready to receive them?

9-1-1 Communications

Despite the rise of popularity in texting, since 2014 agencies have remained consistent in their ability to receive text messages, with 27% of survey responded saying their 9-1-1 center can receive citizen text messages. Even fewer say they can receive photos or video, which equates to about 1 in 10 command centres that are able to engage with the community using these multimedia applications.

As we look to the future, it is clear law enforcement personnel want more information from both citizens and agency databases during 9-1-1- calls in order to do their jobs better. They also desire more multimedia capabilities with 85% wanting more photos, 67% more video, plus past incident and outstanding warrant information.

To make this a reality, command centres need to focus on adopting the latest NG9-1-1, computer aided dispatch (CAD) and records management systems (RMS) technologies. By equipping officers with accurate information from the start of an incident, agencies will be able to apply better judgement when making decisions.

Community Engagement

In today’s world, the willingness to be open and transparent is important, and law enforcement agencies are always looking for ways to strengthen relationships with the community. So when respondents were asked how their agency prefers to receive non-emergency (3-1-1) citizen communications, it’s no surprise that phone calls and face-to-face meetings ranked highly.

That said, there is also great merit in providing citizens access to additional forms of communications, like email, tip lines and social media. Adopting these applications can help provide transparency to the community, alerts to potential crime hotspots, and generally speaking, increase public confidence in the police department. They remind citizens that together, through mutual respect and shared responsibilities, our communities can be better places to live and work.

Video

Video solutions are emerging as an important means of staying connected with the community and creating transparency with citizens. According to the previous Motorola Solutions Public Safety Survey, about 41% of agencies used video. Today, almost 90% of agencies use some form of video in their operations, indicative of the significant role video plays in solving crime and keeping officers and communities safe.

That said, increased use of video tools is providing new challenges for agencies. Strong policies are needed to support privacy issues, and data storage can be a source of difficulty. According to the survey, 86% of law enforcement officials recognize that they need to improve the way they manage data. As agencies move forward collecting more and more data they need to put programs in place to manage both the devices and the digital content, secure the data to ensure integrity and develop procedures to respond to outside requests for records.

Now and Into the Future

Agencies currently have access to multiple data devices, plus two-way radios, to communicate with peers, supervisors, command centre personnel and citizens—but access to devices is just part of the story. It is the collective intelligence gained from the devices, software, services and networks both LTE and LMR that really matters. In fact, 71% of law enforcement personnel said they want to be able to communicate across different networks and devices and 53% want to rely on mobile data applications as often as voice communications.

In short, law enforcement personnel want the ability to provide context around a few seconds of streaming video, predictive resource deployment and intelligent personal assistance. They are looking for a secure platform designed to meet the security and regulatory needs of organizations so law enforcement personnel can gain more situational awareness, use data proactively and build better relationships helping to maintain and improve the lives of the citizens in the communities served.

For the complete white paper, please visit: t.na.motorolasolutions.com/webApp/le_survey_report.

 

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