By Leischen Stelter, editor of In Public Safety
The speed at which technology has advanced in recent years is mind blowing. Today, many of us wonder how we ever lived without our devices, even though it wasn’t that long ago we all depended on landlines, paper maps, and encyclopedias. The current generation of children will grow up having instant access to the vast majority of information in the world, which is truly amazing, but also overwhelming.
Many public safety agencies struggle to understand available technology and how it can benefit their mission. For example, many agencies have leapt into the world of social media in order to communicate with those they serve. Other agencies evaluate how evolving technology like unmanned aerial systems (AKA drones) can help them be more effective, whether it’s safely evaluating a crime scene or helping fight wildfires.
The bottom line is that technology is not going away and agencies cannot ignore it. Leaders and administrators must seek to understand how technology works, how it can be applied, and, most importantly, how it can help further their mission of protecting and serving the public.
However, technology brings many uncertainties and risks and public safety agencies must be diligent about understanding the challenges associated with technology. Public safety leaders must:
- Ensure adequate protection of data systems
- Enhance training of personnel on proper use of the device or system
- Develop policies to protect the agency or employees against legal action
Understanding the Impacts of Technology
In the month of July, In Public Safety will feature articles written by American Military University faculty members about the benefits and challenges of technology in public safety agencies. These faculty members are not only academics, researching and teaching such topics, but also current or former practitioners, who understand what it takes to apply such knowledge to the real world.
As articles are posted to In Public Safety, they will be compiled below for easy navigation by profession. Thanks for reading!
During a recent conference, NYPD police commissioner William Bratton discussed the current state of policing in the country and the NYPD’s focus on the effective integration of technology.
Implementing an automation system within a correctional agency can be a challenging and complex process. AMU’s Dr. Ron Wallace discusses the steps correctional facilities should take to automate their processes and make their operations more efficient.
Computing is rapidly advancing with wearable technologies that can be adapted for law enforcement application. AMU professor Mark Bond asks which wearable technologies could most benefit law enforcement?
How could drones help firefighters improve communication, safety, and command and control operations? Captain Peter Jensen discusses the potential benefits of this technology as well as the dangers posed by civilian-operated drones.
AMU professor Kim Miller discusses the importance of open-source intelligence (OSINT) for her work as a certified fraud examiner. Learn more about online tools and sites that can help investigate people suspected of fraud.
There have been great advancements within public safety technology that have helped make communities safer and first responders more capable. However, many challenges abound. AMU professor Giles Hoback discusses the need to address ongoing gaps and areas in need of improvement.