Law enforcement needs a boost—here’s how tech can help

By Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

Never far from any state and local discussion is a lack of resources and when it comes to law enforcement and public safety, there is no exception.

Organizations need to find alternative methods of financing upgrades to technology, equipment and resources in order to continue modernizing and improving the sense of community.

I recently covered this challenge in my webinar titled, “Law Enforcement Needs a Boost–Here’s How Technology Can Help“.

Even though many law enforcement and public safety entities would love to hire more officers to increase patrols, there is simply not enough funds to do this. This is where technology can increase their reach without stretching their budget. Solutions can help increase their eyes and ears, make sense of their data and become more proactive.

All of this comes with a balancing act. Considering several high-profile negative incidents with law enforcement over the past several years, organizations have a challenge in balancing their accountability and integrity with the public while making sure they are continuing to perform. They will need to make sure they are justifying the upgrades and spending in the court of public opinion. New methods and technology will need to produce quick wins if they hope to get positive feedback.

Given that it is highly unlikely that organizations will be getting huge bumps in personnel to patrol and monitor their entire territory, they need to find ways to increase their eyes and ears and the Internet of Things (IoT) is one tool that can help. Through the deployment of sensors, cameras and other devices, IoT allows departments to monitor more areas with less personnel. Deploying a sensor or camera as a one-off can be a little pricey when you factor in the underlying infrastructure and network so often these devices are incorporated into larger initiatives under the “Smart Cities” umbrella, which means that police and sheriff’s departments don’t have to shoulder the entire budget burden alone.

In fact, most municipalities have incorporated smart cities initiatives into their planning. Typically these initiatives start with blanketing the city in Wi-Fi and public connectivity, which is a perfect first step in ensuring law enforcement devices such as gunshot detection, cameras and police observation devices can collect and transmit the necessary data.

Your best opportunities will come from partnering with the niche IoT players with technology like gunshot detection to help them incorporate it into a larger solution play for the city. Presenting a city or department with a cohesive solution for deployment, data collection and data storage stands a better chance than one-off technology that will need to be worked into existing or newly purchased infrastructure.

Interested in seeing how your IoT solutions can help law enforcement and public safety? Listen to my latest webinar on law enforcement challenges and how technology can play a role.

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