The well-known management consultant Peter Drucker once said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. I joined Microsoft because I want to help create a bright future for public safety and justice organizations around the world. After two decades working for law enforcement, I realized that Microsoft offers the advanced technology that can help public safety organizations better protect their communities—and I’m working to make that happen on a global scale.
Before coming to Microsoft, I worked for law enforcement at both the local and federal levels. I started my career as a municipal police officer in the state of Washington, and eventually joined the U.S. Secret Service, where I worked for 15 years. Initially, I served as a special agent focusing on bank, credit card, and identification fraud. I went on to work as a lead advance agent coordinating and implementing security plans surrounding presidential visits. Eventually, I oversaw the Electronic Crimes Task Force for both the Seattle and San Francisco field offices, leading teams of investigators solving complex financial crimes that involved the compromise of servers and networks by suspects residing outside of the United States.
My experience working in law enforcement has taught me that regardless of location, many public safety and justice organizations around the globe share a common challenge: they work with information stored in disparate data systems, making it difficult to obtain the information they need, when they need it. My work also has taught me that technology can be a powerful tool that transforms the way law enforcement, emergency management, and judicial organizations approach their work. In a nutshell, technology can help public safety and justice organizations operate far more efficiently and effectively than most do today.
Take the Tampa Police Department, for example. The police department has equipped its front-line police officers with real-time crime data that enables them to accurately pinpoint crimes, patterns, and incidents as they patrol the city’s streets. In one case, a Tampa police officer searched data from a terminal in his police vehicle to arrest a sex offender suspect just hours after the victim called police to report the incident. Searching a cloud-based database that consolidates criminal information in a single location, the officer overlaid the sex offender registry map on the local area, found a photo that matched the victim’s description, located the suspect, and arrested him the same day they received the report.
As the person who oversees Microsoft’s “mobile first, cloud first” strategy for public safety and justice communities around the world, I want to expand innovative technology such as this to other organizations. Already, many public safety agencies are starting to adopt cloud-based technology such as Office 365. And as they realize that Microsoft’s Azure cloud provides more security than most public safety organizations can obtain on their own, I predict more public safety and justice organizations will turn to the cloud to securely store and manage their data, giving those who need it the real-time access they require.
Not only will this help jurisdictions communicate and collaborate when responding to large-scale events, but it will help front-line workers tackle the everyday crime, fires, and other emergencies that plague our communities. Ultimately, it will provide public safety organizations with the data they need to prevent crime and other emergencies before they occur. By working at Microsoft, these are the goals I’m working with public safety and justice organizations to achieve.