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On-Demand Video Can Transform the Way our Police Departments Train

While we most often think of the Internet of Everything (IoE) as transforming public safety forces out in the field, change can actually begin before an officer is even leaves the station. Classroom training for officers is crucial, enabling them to stay safe and perform at the highest level out in the field. Current events highlight just how important good training is, ensuring officers know how to act in all situations and act as good example of public safety in their communities. The problem is that police officers work on shift schedules, which makes it extremely difficult to get everyone in the same room at the same time for training.

How do police departments guarantee their officers are trained at the highest level despite this scheduling issue? Video training. Police departments and training officers can use video to produce high-quality educational training tools that can be viewed online at an officer’s convenience. On-demand video recording tools like Cisco’s WebEx are straightforward and easy to use, and allow educational materials to be accessed anywhere via the cloud. These on-demand video presentations help make sure everyone is receiving the same level of training, improving the way public safety agencies operate before anyone even steps foot in the field.

Here are four more benefits that stem from on-demand videos for classroom training:

1. Reduce the need for trainers to be physically present at all classroom trainings

It’s still extremely important for police departments to conduct live training exercises. But by replacing classroom sessions with video training, training officers’ time is freed up to focus more on live training exercises. This makes certain officers are still receiving the training they need while helping departments operate more efficiently.

2. Eliminate the burden of shift scheduling to accommodate training

Juggling day and night shifts with training schedules is a hassle. Agency leaders have to analyze staffing, pull people off regular shifts, fill those spots with other agents and often have to pay overtime to do so. It also involves paying trainers to be onsite for multiple days. Video training allows officers to stay on their regularly-scheduled shifts, preventing the confusion and difficulty of shifting schedules and allowing officers to access training videos at a time that is convenient for them.

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#WednesdayWalkabout Series: Smart Parking and Lighting Make All the Difference

Let there be light…and parking spots!

There’s nothing like the quiet (or in my case, not-so-quiet) desperation of circling a few city blocks, over and over again, looking for a spot to park. You can almost feel your sanity slipping away. The search for a parking space is not only terribly frustrating; it is also a major contributor to traffic congestion and carbon emissions.

And we all love the classic case of walking home at night, tripping every few steps because, unbeknownst to you, no streetlights seem to cooperate and come to life in your neighborhood. For municipalities, street lighting is an essential maintenance effort to help improve public safety and the overall citizen experience, influencing a city’s ability to create a lasting environment for business and tourism. Unfortunately, community lighting is also a major energy and cost drain.

Of late, there is a consistent slashing of public budgets that must somehow be managed, while still meeting the growing demands from communities under the pressure of rapid urbanization. However, cities around the world are overcoming these challenges with the Internet of Everything.

In particular, communities are developing digital strategies to better address parking and city lighting needs, yielding a widespread and shared benefit. For example, with easier access to parking, citizens are facing less traffic, saving money on fuel, receiving more convenient payment options, and experiencing an overall improvement in quality of life. On the flip side, civil servants can better detect and report parking violations, increasing community revenue. Similarly, smart lighting management can contribute to a safer community. And city officials can reduce energy consumption, cost, and maintenance, all while positively contributing to the environment.

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Lowest Price / Technically Acceptable AND Secure: The Path to YES!

Is Lowest Price/Technically Acceptable (LPTA) an impediment to Secure IT solutions? 

While many hypothesize that meeting LPTA mandates and also acquiring security “built in” is as rare as the mythological unicorn, I suggest that a reasoned path to both exists.

That path requires a walk through “Value Chain” security. In the public sector, where technology supports government operations at the federal, state and local level, it is vital for government procurers of technology to:

  1. Embrace the breadth of the IT Value Chain;
  2. Understand the key threats to the IT Value Chain and the exposures to which those threats correlate; and
  3. Ensure they procure from trusted vendors who have a comprehensive approach to security across their end to end Value Chain.

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Work Day Journey for the Digital Citizen

Wake up. Get ready for the day. Hurry up to…wait in traffic? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, traffic congestion in the United States alone results in more than 4 billion hours of travel delay and nearly 3 billion gallons of gas used, at a cost of $80 billion a year. More than 25 percent of traffic congestion is non-recurrent, according to the Federal Highway Administration, meaning that in large part, it is caused by traffic incidents. Detecting these incidents early and responding to them effectively makes for safer roads, less congestion, and smoother traffic flow.

Leveraging technology and innovation will be essential for transportation in the world’s swelling urban areas as increasing populations, and other factors like climate change, will continue to impact current transportation systems and roadways.

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Courts Series Kick-off: Connected Justice for All

Imagine the price of connecting all of the moving parts within our justice system. Think of the time and money it takes to do so. From pre-trial hearings, attorney conferences and arraignment to administrative proceedings and remote testimony then disposition and even post-trial proceedings, all of these services can be streamlined through Cisco’s Connected Justice solution. Through connectivity of mobile devices, cameras, sensors, transfer vehicles, the Internet of Everything (IoE) allows law enforcement, courts and corrections staff to streamline the justice process. Cisco’s solution provides a unified network platform to automate justice workflow and, therefore, removes barriers between systems, agencies, people and processes as critical information is transferred.

Convergence is at the heart of connecting people, process, data and things anytime, anywhere. For those working within the U.S. justice system the convergence of IoE can streamline processes through faster collaboration. It can benefit inmates by reducing processing times and, simultaneously, improve security for justice workers while providing enhanced public safety to the community.

One simple example can illustrate the principle. Arraignments require defendants to appear before a judge to conduct a formal reading of the criminal charges. This heightens security risks for law enforcement officials and the public, increases administrative costs to safely transfer the defendant to and from the arraignment and slows the entire process should there be multiple court facilities with which the defendant must connect. Through secure, remote video for motions and testimony directly from detainees’ holding facilities, many of these risks can be eliminated.

I will be presenting on the power of a better connected justice system at the National Center for State Court’s upcoming CTC conference in Minneapolis on September 22-24. As a retired Judge, I have been in the trenches and understand the complexities of day-to-day operations within a court system. Cisco’s solution set is designed and operates based upon real needs and experiences of actual law enforcement, courts and corrections users.

This summer I will release a series of blogs to provide an overview of Cisco’s Connected Justice solution. Together, we will explore how public safety is affected, how the solution is expanding and the benefits associated with its growth. We will discuss how judges, attorneys, probation officers, jailers and other key stakeholders in the system can use technology to help increase efficiency while simultaneously reducing costs without compromising the fair and equal access to justice.

To learn more about Cisco’s Connected Justice solution visit us here.