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3 ways technology will make police departments of the future more agile

Cloud-based technologies are changing the landscape of law enforcement


Tools like Amazon Rekognition, which can help officers automatically identify persons of interest, are the future of law enforcement.


Sponsored by Amazon Web Services

By Police1 BrandFocus Staff

Police departments across the country are leveraging new technologies made possible by the cloud to improve the way they protect and serve. Using these advanced tools, officers are improving the speed of their investigations, storing data securely, and quickly combing databases for relevant information that may have taken much longer to gather in years past.

The cloud-based tools of the future are secure, powerful, and are changing the face of law enforcement. Here are three cloud-based technologies that have an impact.

1. Artificial Intelligence

One of the challenges of law enforcement is finding effective and time-efficient methods of searching and combining data from disparate systems. Currently, many policing databases do not communicate well with one another, if at all. Locating information can be a bit like trying to find a needle in the proverbial haystack. However, several companies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) as a means to solve that problem, as they seek to enhance the capabilities of law enforcement.

  • The Veritone platform, which runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), automatically processes, manages, and analyzes data across many sources. This can provide actionable information that is accessible in real time, while also providing a measure of transparency.
  • ShotSpotter is another example. It provides real-time gunshot notifications to law enforcement through the use of pre-deployed sensors across a given area. Police are notified of the gunshots and can quickly dispatch a unit to the location of the incident. This type of rapid response can aid officers in discovering evidence, assisting victims, and making timely arrests.
  • Amazon Rekognition, a solution used by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, uses automated facial recognition software to identify persons of interest by cross-referencing mug shots in its system, allowing officers to expedite investigations and focus on the most credible leads.

2. Body Cameras

Body-worn cameras, and the digital evidence management systems that accompany, is another instance of technology reshaping how law enforcement operates. When used in conjunction with the cloud, these tools enable departments to collect video data and store it securely in compliance with CJIS requirements. They can also assist in analyzing video, not only from body-worn cameras, but also from dash cams, surveillance footage, and even citizen-generated video.

The Lawrence, Indiana, Police Department’s body-worn camera program is a prime example. Deputy Chief Woodruff believes that in five years, body-worn cameras will be as universal as the badge, uniform, or gun. He sees the program as an essential tool that provides a means of de-escalation during encounters with citizens. It also enhances learning and assessment, including better real-time intelligence during interagency collaboration.

3. Data Management

The backbone of both data AI solutions and body-worn camera systems is data management. Once the information has been collected, it must be stored in a secure and organized manner to be useful.

Increasingly, departments will look to unified solutions, such as the cloud-based computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system and records-management system provided by Mark43. Both run on the cloud. Together, they offer a holistic platform that runs the gamut from dispatch, reporting, and case investigation, to evidence management and crime analysis.

Camden County, New Jersey, recently adopted the Mark43 platform. The software helped Camden police better assess crime trends and proactively allocate resources.

“We know what is going on hour to hour and minute to minute, and we can adjust our deployment accordingly,” Kerry Yerico, then director of strategic intelligence analysis for Camden County, told GovTech in January 2017. “If you have a strong data system, it takes so much of the guesswork out of things for the first responder. They go to the scene armed with the knowledge of what they are entering into.”

Through the adoption of new technologies that run on the cloud, police departments will more efficiently and effectively fight crime. With body-worn cameras to provide video evidence, advanced analytics tools that reduce paperwork and time spent on investigations, and a secure data management infrastructure to store and manage it all, the future of policing will be found in the cloud.