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Public Safety Blog Series-Community Policing in Action: Mankato’s Tapestry Project (Authored by Todd A. Miller, Director of Public Safety, Mankato Department of Public Safety, Mankato, MN)

Each year, at the IACP Annual Conference, we celebrate the best in community policing through the IACP and Cisco Community Policing Awards. In Mankato, MN, we are living proof of the impact community policing can have on communities.

IACP-MankatoWhen we look at critical incidents and threats to public safety, we see that they transcend race, mental state, gender, ideology and other differentiators. They can happen anywhere and in any size city, and it is our job to prevent, deter, respond and recover from those incidents. Of all these, prevention and deterrence are by far the most imperative as you have saved resources and possibly lives, and then you don’t need the efforts and expense of recovery.

To prevent and deter, a police department, city and other public safety agencies must leverage partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the conditions that give rise to such incidents and threats. With resources limited by current economic conditions, the force multiplication agencies receive by implementing the community policing philosophy and partnering with citizens is the most effective means of making our communities safer.

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Veterans See Improved Access to Healthcare

It’s truly amazing to think about the possibilities that advances in technology have unlocked.  No longer do the barriers of time and distance have to limit the ability for anyone to access education, healthcare and government services.  We can now connect with the push of a button. And often, it allows us to help the people who need it most.

I recently read an article by Bryant Jordan of Military.com that discusses how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is changing the lives of veterans across the U.S. and helping meet their unique healthcare needs via telehealth. Veterans are able to meet with primary care physicians and specialists from the comfort of their home, minimizing the pain and hassle of traveling to medical facilities, which are often many miles away.  There’s no doubt technology has provided convenience and improved access to healthcare, but the VA has seen other positive results as well. By increasing veterans’ ability to access medical professionals and services, improving follow-up and ongoing services, inpatient bed days have been reduced by 58% and admissions have declined by 38%.  Read More »

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Florida Department of Highway Safety at Cisco Live!

This week at Cisco Live!, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spoke on a government customer roundtable. Rob Fields, the CIO for the Department provided insight into the challenges that he faced with legacy equipment, the organization’s technology vision and plans for the future.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety had purchased lowest bid, low-quality networking equipment prior to Fields’ appointment as CIO. He knew that before he could accomplish any of his technology goals he had to rebuild the network with Cisco from the ground up.

Around this time the State of Florida imposed a travel ban, which was negatively affecting personnel throughout the department. Fields and his team had already been looking at video solutions following the network upgrade, but the travel ban gave them an even greater sense of urgency. “We installed video solutions at 15 locations and began conducting Florida Highway Patrol command staff meetings, remote interviews, and field manager meetings, over video and immediately saw ROI. It was a huge success,” said Fields. Read More »

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Touring the Future VA Medical Center at Lake Nona during Cisco Live!

While at Cisco Live! in Orlando, Fla.,  I had the pleasure of leading a tour of the future Veterans Administration (VA)  Medical Center at Lake Nona, along with Dr.  Kenneth Goldberg, the center’s new chief of staff.

This amazing facility will be the first new VA hospital to be built in the U.S. in nearly 20 years. When complete, it will be a state-of-the-art medical center that will care for many of the approximately 400,000 veterans and their families living in Central Florida (1.8 million veterans call Florida home).

The 1.2 million square-foot facility in Orange County will be one of the largest hospitals in the VA system. It will have a large multispecialty outpatient clinic, a 134-bed inpatient diagnostic and treatment hospital, a 118-bed nursing home, a 60-bed domiciliary, and a veterans benefit mini service center. Its campus will also include the Simulation Learning Education and Research Network, which is a high-technology, immersive environment that uses simulation to train VA medical personnel. Read More »

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Government Roundtable at Cisco Live!

Tomorrow at Cisco Live!, I will be moderating a roundtable discussion featuring four government thought-leaders:

During the roundtable, each customer will discuss how they are using technology to address current challenges -- such as greater demand for mobile technology, fewer resources, limited budgets and new models for delivering citizen services. Read More »

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