Incorporating the advantages of mobility into public safety is the new minimum expectation. Mobile devices provide instant communication relative to incident information, provide mapping and situational data that enhances productivity, and can be a lifeline for public safety personnel. With mobile technology, like that offered by CentralSquare Technologies, public safety personnel can leverage haptic feedback – vibration response to touch for example – as a silent notification for critical alerts, such as a felony warrant, and requests for assistance. When first responders have access to data on the spot instead of relying on another source, integrity of, and confidence in the data is much stronger. When choosing a mobile solution, public safety agencies should look for a partner that understands how to keep personnel connected, informed and fully aware during each call and every incident.
Here is how mobility can help solve the two biggest challenges in public safety:
Challenge #1: Improving Officer Safety
How many numerous lives could be saved if officers had access to critical information, such as their initiated contact had a history of violence, or felony warrants out for their arrest? How many firefighters have been injured because they didn’t know the layout of the burning building as they stepped inside? Being prepped with these types of details enables public safety personnel to take precautions that could save lives, including their own.
How mobility can help…
Critical details can change in an instant, and public safety personnel need to know the moment those details change. With mobile solutions, like Field Ops from CentralSquare, first responders have access to the most up-to-date information no matter where they are located. Mobility solutions provide more than just information to officers. Dispatchers are able to track out-of-vehicle movements of officers and have awareness of their location without interruption. With a smartphone or tablet, however, officers on foot can have instant access to dispatch and request for backup wherever they go. If an officer is injured during a foot chase or away from the patrol car, dispatch will be able to instantly track her location through the Field Ops app and send backup or lifesaving aid.
Challenge #2: Attrition
The challenges of recruiting and retaining personnel in public safety are well known; it’s a high-stress, challenging, physically demanding job that more often than not has a negative public perception. Fewer candidates apply for acceptance into law enforcement academies each year. And the impact isn’t limited to just law enforcement – a report by the National Volunteer Fire Council found that there has been a significant decline in the number of volunteer firefighters as well.
How mobility can help…
By incorporating a mobile Field Ops solution, the attrition challenge is mitigated by providing the same technology that the current generation of recruits expect and use daily in their personal lives. The typical law enforcement candidate is in their twenties and using smartphones and tablets is their expectation for banking, shopping and even dating – this same expectation of ease and use extends into their career choices.
Many recruits leave mid-academy when they realize how old the systems are and how digitally disconnected the profession truly is. The Field Ops mobile solution saves officer hours daily by allowing them to upload digital evidence, both photos and videos, while still in the field and at the scene. This allows them to focus on the safety of the public that likely enticed them to choose this noble career by serving citizens and preventing victimization.
In order to preserve the future of public safety agencies with a thriving work force and to prioritize officer safety, mobility should be highly prioritized on every agency’s list of initiatives. Shouldn’t mobility be as powerful a force and advantage in public safety as we’ve seen in the commercial landscape?