Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Government

Public Safety Series: How the City of McAllen Transformed their Judicial Process with Video Solutions

In my last blog post in the Public Safety Series, I discussed how police forces could use video technologies to improve their training programs. In addition to training, there are numerous other ways that law enforcement agencies can utilize video solutions to both operate more efficiently as a department and improve officers’ ability to protect their community. Today, I want to share with you a real-life example of how one government agency is using video solutions to make tangible changes in how the judicial process in their city works.

The City of McAllen, located in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, is increasingly turning to innovative technology solutions to improve the city’s operations. As a smaller city with limited personnel and resource, McAllen realized that technology can help them operate at a high level and continue to provide excellent service to its residents. Previously, the city had deployed Cisco Call Manager as a solution to its formerly fragmented phone system, which helped simplify and management of its phone system and save money.

Next, the city turned its sights to exploring more efficient ways to connect court activities with police departments and officers in the field. It had always been difficult to obtain warrants from off-duty judges, wasting time and adding unnecessary roadblocks in the judicial process. McAllen hoped that with video solutions, police officers could connect with the city’s judges and receive paperwork for a warrant immediately.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Video Interpretation Solutions Help Ensure Equality in the Justice System

While I was thinking about the topic of my second post in the court series leading up to the CTC conference in September, I came across an interesting news article. The state of California just announced that it will now provide court interpreters for free in all court cases. In the past, the state – along with many others – has only provided interpretation services in criminal cases. However, ensuring that everyone understands what is going on in the courtroom, no matter the case, is critical to making sure justice is dispensed fairly, efficiently and accurately. This means that court interpretation services are a crucial part of the justice system.

While this move by California is great, it is a bit behind the times. Back in 2010, the Department of Justice issued guidance on the issue of interpreters within the judicial system, noting that a particular concern was, “limiting the types of proceedings for which qualified interpreter services are provided by the court.” The letter went on to state: “Some courts only provide competent interpreter assistance in limited categories of cases, such as in criminal, termination of parental rights, or domestic violence proceedings. DOJ, however, views access to all court proceedings as critical.” This means that all states have had five years to expand their court translation services to cover all types of cases, in accordance with the Department of Justice’s standards.

However, states have been slow to take on this expansion, largely due to the high costs. California, for example, has the nation’s largest court system, spread out across a huge state. They also have about seven million residents with limited English proficiency, who speak over 200 different languages. The cost to provide translators in those locations for these residents is huge; in 2010, California spent nearly $93 million on court interpretation services. So in order to reconcile the challenge of fixed budgets with the increased demand for interpreters, state and local governments need to rethink their manual processes for deploying these services and look toward technology instead.

One major way to reduce the cost of providing interpreters and ensure that all citizens participate in a fair and balanced judicial process is using video services. To address the rising demand for interpreters and to help streamline court procedures, Cisco has developed a Connected Justice™ Video Interpretation solution (CJVI). CJVI allows interpreters to virtually join court proceedings using the high-quality video and audio features of Cisco® Unified Communications Manager and Cisco TelePresence® end-points. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

#CiscoPublicSafety Series: Redefining Public Safety and Justice through IoE

Public safety and justice agencies around the world are facing the increasingly difficult challenge of dealing with shrinking resources. In the U.S., for example, results from a survey conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Major Cities Chiefs Association show an estimated 53 percent of U.S. counties are working with fewer staff today than they were a decade ago.

As a result of having to do more with less, police are turning to technology as a force multiplier, and one of the greatest force multipliers can come from the Internet of Everything (IoE). In short, the Internet of Everything is the networked connection of people, process, data, and things. What it can do for public safety and justice agencies is to create opportunities to increase cost efficiency, improve safety and security, provide better response times, and increase productivity.

A great example involves San Antonio.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Connecting Judicial Leaders at the International Peace Palace: Final Thoughts

It has been an incredible week at the IACA 2012 conference this week.

So many great conversations with leaders from around the world.

My appreciation to Jeffrey, Markus, Alice, Richard and everyone from IACA who organized and planned this impressive conference.   I would also like to extend my gratitude to Eline, Paul, and Maarten from 3rd Millennium Productions and Camp Creative for producing these videos.

Jeffrey Apperson, President IACA was a great host and leader with the team of volunteers that planned and organized this conference with great success.

This week Richard Foster, President Elect IACA was sworn in as the new IACA President and shares his thoughts for the future.

I’m looking forward to seeing the IACA community in October 2014 in Syndey, Australia.

Please feel free to  learn more about Cisco Connected Justice and please  join our 21st Century Government community.




You can also learn more about Cisco Connected Justice and please  join our 21st Century Government community.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Connecting Judicial Leaders at the International Peace Palace: Day 3

Another very interesting day at IACA 2012 at the Peace Palace at the Hague, Netherlands with workshops on social media, innovative communications technologies in the courts.

Mr. Norman Meyer, Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New
moderated a workshop panel focused on innovative uses in court systems of social media with

  • Honorable Rune Lium, Judge, Sør-Trøndelag District Court, Norway
  • Honorable Ian L. Gray, Chief Magistrate, State of Victoria, Australia
  • Dr. Pamela Schulz, Lecturer, Graduate Communications Programs, University of South Australia, and Chair, Defence Reserves Support Council, South Australia

The Honorable Dory Reiling, Judge, First Instance Court, Amsterdam, The Netherlands shared her thoughts from the workshop deploying innovating automation and communications technologies to address court administration and management.

  • Moderator:  Mr. Tony Lansdell, Court Technology Specialist, Melbourne, Australia
  • Honorable Dory Reiling, Judge, First Instance Court, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Honorable Muhammet Polat, Judge, Ministry of Justice Department of İnformation Technologies,  Ankara, Turkey
  • Mr. Abdulrahim Ahmad Almudhareb, Director of IT Department, Dubai Courts, Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Mr. Mark Beer, IACA Regional Vice-President, Middle East, Dubai, UAE

Gerhard Fischer, Cisco Connected Justice (EMEAR) shared his thoughts about the conference and the IACA community.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,