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.

The city deployed Cisco’s video solution, TelePresence, in its police stations, which connected police officers with on-call municipal judges. Judges also installed Cisco Jabber on their laptops to easily access the communications tool through basic mobile broadband. Additionally, McAllen connected their TelePresence units to the police department’s servers, which allows officers in the field to share documents and paperwork from the station with other personnel securely. Combined with electronic signature capability, judges were now able to validate court orders and warrants on demand.

Today, an officer can immediately connect with an on-call judge after hours to expedite legal proceedings, which saves judges travel time and encourages the efficient processing of warrants that can make or break a case. This groundbreaking advancement has transformed the way McAllen’s police force works, saves the police force time and money, and helps police officers dispense justice more efficiently to better protect the City of McAllen.

The City of McAllen is a shining example of how video solutions like TelePresence and Jabber have the potential to transform public safety in cities and counties all across the country. To learn more about how Cisco solutions can help transform your public safety agency, click here, and check out more examples like the City of McAllen on Cisco’s Connected Justice page. And look out for the last post in my Public Safety blog series as I gear up for the IACP Annual Conference at the end of this month!


Bob Stanberry

Senior Law Enforcement Advisor