Strategic Decisions

Strategic Decisions

How to increase public safety and responsiveness to community needs

An SDSC is a crime-fighting nerve center that facilitates decision making through increased intelligence and better understanding. Built using dedicated hardware and software solutions, they are housed in local police departments of big and small cities. They help law enforcement groups develop proactive strategies to meet the challenges of their specific neighborhoods.

In the city of Chicago, for example, local authorities have developed a series of SDSCs to help make neighborhoods safer. With a focus on crime prevention and providing officers with greater situational awareness, they wanted to improve their ability to respond to the specific needs of their communities. The city’s main objective was to give police commanders the necessary insight to use their personnel and resources more effectively.

Operating on a tight budget and focusing on the needs of specific districts, the Chicago Police Department deployed an SDSC with the help of Genetec solutions that aggregate and analyze data from multiple systems, including shot detection and VMS. The software then outputs the resulting information in targeted and meaningful ways. This can be shared with dispatchers and first responders, resulting in comprehensive response coordination and the ability to manage incidents in real-time. The software also makes it possible for district leadership and trained analysts to work with the data they are collecting and proactively develop targeted crime reduction strategies.

Since rolling out its Citigraf-based SDSCs over a year ago, police response times have been reduced by as much as 39 percent in two of Chicago’s most violent districts. Additionally, the latest reports show that Chicago’s overall violent crime is down by 24 percent, shootings down by 70 percent, and murders down by 43 percent. Police directly attribute these improvements to the crime management capability enabled by the city’s growing number of SDSCs.

How SDSCs Work

Implementing an SDSC allows police departments to consolidate and analyze data from multiple sources, including real time computer aided dispatch, sensors, and offender criminal history databases. With this information, you can create a unified dynamic operating picture of incidents in real-time that can be shared with dispatchers, responders, and other departments, including traffic and public transportation.

Whether assisting in crime prediction or providing officers with better awareness, SDSCs are rapidly becoming an important part of improved community policing in cities around the world. And, in order to make it possible for smaller cities to build their own centers, Genetec is making this technology accessible at a cost that fits police departments’ budget.

Is an SDSC Right for Your Community?

In addition to increasing public safety through greater situational awareness and insight-driven decisions and planning, an SDSC also reduces response times, improves service from law enforcement, and increases public trust in local policing. SDSCs also can improve the efficiency of investigations, increase clearance rates, and support community involvement in the development of crime prevention strategies.

The first step in developing an SDSC is to unify and centralize your public safety operations and develop a common operating picture. A decision support system (DSS) that facilitates collaboration and connectivity between multiple systems, including Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), video surveillance, and record management, is crucial. With the right DSS, you can see the big picture and exchange relevant information with field personnel. This unified approach to public safety leads to proactive response and readiness, greater operational intelligence, and optimized resource management. Effective and meaningful interagency collaboration is critical for maintaining public safety. By establishing an SDSC that allows for collaboration and sharing, you can centralize monitoring and draw on footage from disparate surveillance systems, including VMS and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), to create a unified picture of an incident.

To further promote agency sharing, it’s also important to ensure the privacy of individuals and protect sensitive data. When you allow groups to maintain the autonomy of their systems and operations while sharing data, you can promote trust as you extend the reach of your investigations. Next, when it comes to a comprehensive urban safety strategy, you must ensure that stakeholders can work together. Public-private collaboration and community participation are key components for developing an effective SDSC. You need to implement a framework that allows members of the community to work with public agencies towards common goals, including increased safety, greater economic growth, and improved operational efficiency. In addition to providing better situational awareness and augmenting transparency, implementing this framework can also increase business and tourism and improve services without negatively impacting your budget.

Five Steps to Improved Public Safety

Unify your operations. The first step in developing an SDSC is to unify and centralize your public safety operations and develop a common operating picture. A decision support system (DSS) that facilitates collaboration and connectivity between multiple systems, including CAD, video surveillance, and record management, is crucial. With the right DSS, you can see the big picture and exchange relevant information with field personnel. This unified approach to public safety leads to proactive response and readiness, greater operational intelligence, and optimized resource management.

Implement a framework. Effective and meaningful interagency collaboration is critical for maintaining public safety. By establishing an SDSC that allows for collaboration and sharing, you can centralize monitoring and draw on footage from disparate surveillance systems, including VMS and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), to create a unified picture of an incident. To further promote agency sharing, you must also ensure privacy and protect sensitive data. When you allow groups to maintain the autonomy of their systems and operations while sharing data, you can promote trust as you extend the reach of your investigations.

Collaborate with agencies. Next, when it comes to a comprehensive urban safety strategy, you must ensure that stakeholders can work together. Public-private collaboration and community participation are key components for developing an effective SDSC. You need to implement a framework that allows members of the community to work with public agencies towards common goals, including increased safety, greater economic growth, and improved operational efficiency. In addition to providing better situational awareness and augmenting transparency, implementing this framework can also increase business and tourism and improve services without negatively impacting your budget.

Share information. With the increased amount of evidence being gathered by surveillance systems, body cameras, and civilians, your SDSC will require a digital evidence management system to simplify investigations and close cases. You must be able to securely gather evidence from all digital sources, including video footage uploaded by citizens, into a single system and then easily manage permissions. This will greatly reduce the time spent on labor-intensive tasks and allow you to securely share evidence both inside and outside of your organization with the click of a button.

Gather and store evidence. With the increased amount of evidence being gathered by surveillance systems, body cameras, and civilians, your SDSC will require a digital evidence management system to simplify investigations and close cases. You must be able to securely gather evidence from all digital sources, including video footage uploaded by citizens, into a single system and then easily manage permissions. This will greatly reduce the time spent on laborintensive tasks and allow you to securely share evidence both inside and outside of your organization with the click of a button.

Choosing the Right Partner is Critical for Success

To design a solution that address your unique needs, it’s important to choose a partner that can help you take your SDSC project from conception and design through to development and realization. So be sure to work with a partner that has proven experience working with police departments in both small and large metro areas.

It is important to choose a partner that can help you defend against cyber threats and protect everyone’s privacy with secure and compliant solutions. Pick a partner that incorporates multiple lines of defense to protect confidential information and sensitive data while also enhancing the security of any communication between systems and personnel in the field.

Digital Edition

  • Security Today Magazine - March 2020

    March 2020

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    • Transforming the Industry
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    • Common Mistakes
    •The Next Victims

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