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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Cloud and Law Enforcement (Part One): U.K.’s Facewatch Service Benefits Police, Businesses, and Citizens

This is the first in a two-part blog series that examines the opportunities that cloud-based services offer to law enforcement agencies—along with the challenges of this fundamental shift in the way information resources are managed.

Police forces have a well-established culture of owning and managing systems directly founded on concerns about security and control of access to information. Three trends, however, make this position unsustainable:

  • Traditional models for acquiring and running systems, which slow the pace of innovation
  • Pressure to reduce costs
  • Increasing need to form partnerships with other police agencies, public-sector bodies, and the private sector. Partnership depends on information sharing and open approaches to developing systems.

One of the most radical—and successful—cloud-based public-safety and security services is Facewatch. Using a network-based model, Facewatch provides an online reporting tool that allows U.K. businesses and citizens to report crimes and attach video evidence. The service enables crime victims to cancel credit cards instantly through Facewatch’s partners; allows users to share images of wanted people; and provides a channel for feedback from the police on the outcomes of cases.

Facewatch offers immediate benefits to the public, businesses, and law enforcement:

  • Citizens: ease of reporting and rapid management of associated processes
  • Businesses: less time required to deal with incidents
  • Law enforcement: reduces or eliminates the need to interact directly with premises to recover video footage

For all users, there is greater transparency about processes and reporting on outcomes, as well as the ability for communities to share information about wanted persons and crime trends.

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Kick-off Blog for the Global Blog Series “Cloud for Local Government”: Local Government Leaders Rising to the Cloud to Meet Today’s Challenges

Local government agencies are facing increased pressure to improve agency agility and performance, while creating efficiencies and reducing costs in order to better serve the public, and cloud solutions could be just the answer. Today marks the kick-off of our thought leadership blog series designed to provide local government leaders around the world with specifics on how cloud solutions can enable citizen services and drive transformation for a more connected, more efficient government.

Throughout the series, our industry experts will examine a variety of topics from the value proposition of cloud to a review of how specific agencies are effectively using cloud to meet department imperatives. Below is an example showing how the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain is using cloud to increase its ability to quickly provision new projects, realize operating and capital cost savings, and offer new services to its widely dispersed citizens and workforce.

Spanish Govt graphic Read More »

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Connected Public Sector: Being There in Every Situation

This weekend, as the United States celebrates Veterans Day, Cisco’s Global Government team would like to thank all those who have and continue to serve.

The world is continuously changing, bringing new and complex challenges and now, more than ever, communities and citizens need and expect a connected government, one that will enable local government to be there to help, to serve and to protect, no matter what the circumstance.

A connected government is about creating new possibilities for citizens and employees. It’s about breaking down silos between agencies and departments, providing cost-effective solutions, increasing operational efficiencies, and delivering better, faster, real-time services. It’s about understanding how the world is changing, and adapting to that change with scalable, long term, solutions made possible through technology.

As governments of today face these variety of challenges, new and innovative approaches are being implemented and some local governments are leading the way by deploying cloud and mobility solutions to overcome these challenges in a collaborative and timely manner.

Our latest public sector video highlights some examples of how these challenges are being addressed globally.

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Recognizing Communities Around the World: Part 1

During the past several years I have had the great opportunity to work with the  leaders from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the annual Community Policing Awards (CPA).  

For the 14th year, IACP and Cisco are proud to celebrate and pay tribute to departments worldwide practicing the community policing philosophy. These departments bring change, address crime and terrorism, and make their communities safe places to live, work, and play.

Please help us spread the word and encourage others to share their success.  The application deadline is midnight EST on June 3, 2012.

Community policing organizations from around the world can apply now for the opportunity to be recognized for the ways it has made public safety a priority through the use of collaboration, crime prevention, and partnership formation. Winners will be honored at the 2012 IACP Annual Conference in San Diego, CA.

The Chiefs leading the CPA committee are dedicated and each your do a great job recognizing the winners and also sharing best practices during a session at IACP.  Last year was fantastic and we expect IACP 2012 in San Diego to be even better! 

Please let me know if you know any communities that deserve to be recognized. 

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Hidden Reserve Of Public Safety Skills

Jeff Frazier & Norman Jacknis, Cisco IBSG

Protection is a public service and one that can only effectively be carried out with the support and consent — and participation — of the people.  We’ve read stories about how Twitter played a key role in responding to wildfires or iPhone applications show a community map of registered sex offenders and crime areas.

But in public safety, especially, there is a unique source of participants – one that is especially important in these days of tighter state/local budgets. In California, for example, there are nearly 190,000 sworn active public safety officers (police and fire).  However, there are nearly a million retired and former officers.  This represents, on average, nearly 15 million years of skills and experience walking the streets.  This population of people never lost their purpose or their desire to contribute — they just ran out of time!

How can we harness this trusted population? A local government could create an “opt-in” network of these experienced citizens.  Typically, public safety training records are centralized through a central state body.  A database comparison of the records can be matched against the ‘opt-in’ application.

Once accepted, the officer will receive instantaneous alerts on his cell phone, based on its GPS location, about reported problems.  When a problem is reported, the public safety dispatcher would have the ability to examine a geo-spatial screen and discover how many people are in a particular area and who best to solicit or notify.

Governments across the country should enable this skilled population to support public safety problem-solving, in order to identify, recognize, and address problems much faster.

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