Today, public safety is top of mind for most communities. Mass shootings are regularly taking place at schools and workplaces. Violent incidents in public areas occur all too often.
Back in 2013, the New England region was affected when terrorists targeted the Boston Marathon. Investigators used technology to find the attackers, analyzing hundreds of hours of surveillance video to identify the perpetrators and trace their paths.
Communities need access to every resource for preventing and responding to these alarming incidents. Public safety organizations have reacted to increased threats by ramping up their surveillance and improving communication between safety agencies.
Adopting the cloud helps public safety professionals better transmit, access, and analyze information so they can anticipate, prevent, and respond to threats.
Digital Transformation in Public Safety
As with most professions today, public safety is digital. Police departments use technology to operate dispatch, keep records, and conduct investigations. Records need to be stored in a data center and processed through applications that analyze and manage information.
Officers in the field use laptops to search names, outstanding warrants, and vehicle registrations when conducting traffic stops and investigating accidents. Mobile devices allow officers to take photos and video for evidence.
In many cities, officers are being equipped with body cameras that record crime scene investigations and encounters with the public. The mayor of Boston recently announced that the city would be expanding its use of body cameras after a successful pilot program. Body camera programs are rolling out across the Northeast. Body camera recordings are intended to reinforce accountability, improve public confidence, and strengthen the chain of evidence.
Why the Cloud Makes Sense
Public safety organizations need to manage all the data that streams in from sensors on emergency vehicles and body cameras. To process this data, police and fire departments need a platform that offers high performance and capacity.
The cloud provides state-of-the-art, scalable infrastructure and platform resources that are affordable for public safety organizations. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) allows police and fire to store and back up data without having to pay for physical infrastructure. The cloud provider delivers regular updates to ensure its infrastructure is always current.
Business continuity is essential for public safety organizations because communities rely on first responders after an emergency. With cloud disaster recovery, internal resources can fail over to public cloud when an outage occurs at a physical data center. This ensures that public safety officers can obtain current and complete information at all times.
Staying Connected With the Cloud
Officers need to be able to access information in the field so they can respond in a timely and appropriate manner. A situation can be difficult to assess without accurate supporting information from a database or communication with other members of a law enforcement team.
With the cloud, public safety organizations can use the Internet to retrieve information from the database. The cloud supports communication tools that allow officers to stay in touch while they are on the move or at an active site. They can also communicate and share information with other first responders, such as EMTs and firefighters, so the entire team can coordinate its response.
Public safety organizations need the cloud so they can leverage the data they are gathering through technology into faster and better decision-making. Police and fire departments can run advanced analytic applications in the cloud. The cloud delivers the high-performance capabilities needed to get the most out of applications that perform predictive and cognitive analytics.
Surveillance video generates complex and unstructured data that can be difficult to analyze without cognitive analytics. The deep insights gained by cognitive analytics allow public safety organizations to coordinate emergency operations, perform crime mapping, and identify criminals (e.g., facial recognition software).
Making Our Communities Safer
As more public safety organizations turn to technology to help police and protect our communities, the cloud will become an integral part of crime fighting and incident response strategies.
FirstLight is experienced in public safety deployments. We design communications, video surveillance, and cloud solutions that meet the requirements of public safety organizations. Our cloud services are supported by an extensive and secure fiber optic network that spans the Northeast, maintaining the availability and connectivity needed to promote public safety.