Public safety is going increasingly high tech. Though officers in the field are an indispensable and irreplaceable necessity, “manpower” is now being supplemented and augmented by “tech power.” From video analytics to license plate recognition to wearables and embedded sensors to drone-collected aerial imagery to digital fingerprint scanning to 3-D scanners to data-capturing apps, the future of public safety is digital.

Video Analytics

Though closed-camera TV footage (CCTV) has been in use for decades (the city of Chicago alone has over 24,000 recording devices in use), research indicates that 98% of video footage is not seen by anyone. After only 20 minutes of viewing, human attention is so limited that over 95% of incidents as broadcast into the command and control center are missed by personnel.

The use of video analytics overcomes these problems by rapidly analyzing, alerting, and reporting on CCTV footage without the loss of attention or errors intrinsic to human monitoring.

While CCTV alone is insufficient to deter or to deal with crime because the volume of output is beyond the human capacity to effectively analyze and respond to, video analytics can sift through tens of thousands of hours of footage with unprecedented speed, accurately identifying incidents that warrant further human investigation, freeing up the public safety workforce to concentrate on more important and pressing tasks.

Wearables and Embedded Sensors

Connected to bluetooth beacons and fueled by the power of GPS, wearables allow first responders to pinpoint the precise location of their team during fieldwork and high-stakes scenarios when coordination is at a premium and real-time response is critical.

Wearable technology harnesses WiFi mesh networks, beacons and powerful communication applications to enhance public safety and streamline tasks. This allows responders to move more quickly to the areas where aid is needed.

Motion sensors and tracking also allow wearables to monitor the responders themselves.

In the city of San Francisco, for example, a 35% reduction in firearms violence has occurred since the deployment of sensors in streetlights. The sensors detect and identify the location of gunfire, broadcasting alerts to dispatch centers and patrol cars so that they can investigate.

Drones and aerial imagery

For first responders, surveillance teams, and investigators, high quality aerial imagery and data is critical to collecting the real-time intelligence that’s needed to assess and act on an unfolding situation.

Search and Rescue is an activity where swiftness of response can be the difference between life and death. Drones fitted with thermal cameras provides rescuers with an easily deployable method that exponentially accelerates the search for missing people by highlighting thermal signatures that can be detected even through foliage.

Data Capture Apps

Apps are often thought of as represent the leading edge in digitized enhancements to public safety. SilentPartner, for example, is the only public safety app currently available that works with a smartphone to capture any and all data collected via smartphone use (phone calls, texts, images, etc), instantly tag or label this data for optimal information management, and immediately and securely transmit it to a personal or organizational database for retrieval and future analysis.

The SilentPartner app renders obsolete the need for multiple pieces of field equipment by consolidating the functions of a camera, voice recorder, laptop and cellphone into a single, simple to use app. With a tap of the touch screen, public safety personnel can label, categorize, store, and transmit data directly from the field, securely and without delay.

Advanced features of the SilentPartner system include Speech Analytics, which allows software to “listen” to the content of public safety workers’ calls. Trends within those calls are then automatically reported, which can help uncover commonalities between cases thought to be unrelated. This is especially useful for detective bureaus that exist across multiple precincts, because it allows investigators to easily find linked cases. Rough transcription of calls, keyword and phrase searches, and indexing of communications are also options available with SilentPartner.

At KOVA, we’re industry leaders in tech-driven public safety enhancements and solutions. Contact us today and see how our products can take you one step further into the future.

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