In today’s world, it’s no longer enough for police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and others who are first to arrive at the scene of an emergency to simply respond to calls for help. To perform their jobs effectively, first-responders need to know where crimes or incidents are likely to occur so they can anticipate problems and focus their efforts. They need to communicate and collaborate in real time as emergencies unfold. And they need to collect and manage large amounts of evidence in support of their cases. It is critical that public safety agencies have the right information at the right time so they can quickly assess situations, respond to incidents with the correct personnel and equipment, and communicate with their constituents.
Microsoft offers a series of “intelligence-led, first-response” solutions designed to help public safety officials mitigate threats and improve the safety of their communities. Combined, these solutions can help first-responders address threats more effectively, while better preparing citizens during times of need. Here are some of the capabilities we offer.
Better data and analytics: Today, criminal data at the local, state, and national levels is typically stored in disparate databases, forcing law enforcement officials to search for information in multiple places. Microsoft offers an end-to-end big data platform that enables officials to gather data of any size, from any source, and turn it into critical insights that lead to better-informed responses. In addition, law enforcement officials can develop predictive models to help them analyze historical patterns to assess where future threats are likely to occur. With this information in hand, first-responders can focus their efforts in high-risk areas and help prevent incidents from occurring.
Improved safety surveillance: Using portable technology such as sensors, video cameras, license plate readers, and gun-shot detectors, public safety officials can monitor high-traffic public areas, correlating all of the data they collect in real time to detect potential threats. This, in turn, enables them to address threats in near real-time.
Enhanced emergency management: As an emergency unfolds, public safety officials can easily collaborate so they can coordinate their responses. They can share documents across agencies, use maps to identify the location of each first-responder, and combine information received from different agencies and citizens. And with tools like Microsoft Surface Hub, public safety officials can share all of this content on an interactive whiteboard, communicating critical information to field personnel and working together to develop and implement effective strategies.
Advanced evidence management: Increasingly, police agencies are collecting large quantities of video evidence from a range of sources including surveillance cameras, body-worn cameras, in-car video, and interviews of suspects and witnesses. To make use of all of this information, they need to be able to store and transfer it in the most secure and cost effective manner possible. They also need advanced tools to help them find specific footage and redact sensitive information before video is released to the public. The Microsoft cloud provides enterprise-class security, while reducing the cost of video storage by as much as 30–50 percent compared with managing it on-premises. It also allows public safety officials to securely transfer data from the crime scene all the way to the courtroom. In addition, Microsoft Azure includes tools that enable investigators to instantly find relevant video information, while automatically redacting faces and other sensitive data.
Using Microsoft’s intelligence-led, first-response solutions, public safety officials can revolutionize their intelligence capabilities. They can make data-driven decisions, detect threats more quickly, and better coordinate their responses and evidence. It all adds up to less crime and safer, more prosperous communities.