Public Safety Network

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Specific Information/Images courtesy of IBM (link) and Wikipedia

Public safety is vital to social stability, economic growth and people’s well-being for each and every country in the world. With the rapid urban development of cities in most nations, the crime rates and other public safety events (such as natural disasters, accidents, public health crisis, and social instability) keep increasing, and the public safety agencies are seriously challenged to meet their mandates to protect lives, properties and infrastructures.

Such systemic risks in modern society requires effective control and coordination among all public safety agencies. The informatization level and communication ability directly affect the emergency response efficiency and convenience of public safety agencies. The deployment of modern information and communications systems is a strategic asset on which the police can coordinate emergency response, improve collaboration and enhance the ability to communicate between departments.

Public safety agencies at various levels of government have joined together to share information and communicate when faced with public safety incidents. Interagency collaboration initiatives of this nature result in the creation of public safety networks. Public safety networks may originate at any level of government, and their user base may span a single or multiple geographies.

Public safety networks are receiving more attention and priority in the most countries as they deal with population growth, an aging population and ever increasing threats from local unrest, organized crime, local and international terrorism and natural disasters. Such a network of public safety agencies, supported by an information and communications technology infrastructure emerges from the individual and collaborative behaviours of their member agencies.

Public safety networks are defined differently as seen from different perspectives. From an organizational systems perspective a public safety network is an information technology (IT) enabled collaborative, inter-organizational system. From a communications network perspective it is a wireless network used by emergency services. Both definitions are the accepted within the public safety sector.

Organizational Perspective
Public safety organizations are limited in their ability to communicate and share information with other agencies even though they have the technology in place to do so within their own boundaries. Public safety networks help agencies realize the value of joining together to design, develop and deploy information and communications technologies to support policing, criminal justice, public safety and homeland security.

From the organizational perspective a public safety network is an interagency collaboration focused on the development and use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support the information sharing and functional interoperability needs of public safety organizations engaged in law enforcement, criminal justice, and emergency response. As such a public safety network is a specific form of the broad class of inter-organizational information sharing systems (IOS) supporting information sharing among police and other public safety agencies.

As an IOS a public safety network has an inherent complexity due to the wide range of factors that compromise the network. The formation, structure and operation of public safety network can be affected by any number of factors including rational choices made by public safety officials, political priorities, institutional considerations and capabilities of enabling ICT.

The number of potential factors lending themselves to the explanation and understanding of public safety network is considerable. Organizational perspective on public safety networks have used frameworks from rational choice, institutional, and complexity theory to understand their formation and operations.

Communications Perspective
From the communications perspective a public safety network is a wireless communications network used by emergency services organizations, such as police, fire and emergency medical services, to prevent or respond to incidents that harm or endanger persons or property.

Many municipalities are turning to mobile computing and other networked applications to improve the efficiency of their workforce, including public safety personnel and first responders.  Consequently, public safety workers are increasingly being equipped with wireless laptops, handheld computers, and mobile video cameras to improve their efficiency, visibility, and ability to instantly collaborate with central command, co-workers and other agencies. Video surveillance cameras and unattended sensors are becoming important tools to extend the eyes and ears of public safety agencies.

The need to access and share this vital new flow of data and images is driving investments in a new kind of network: broadband wireless mesh networks using Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and 4.9 GHz public safety radio frequencies. These networks are metropolitan or regional in scope, can maintain connections with highly mobile workers, deliver large amounts of low-cost bandwidth with extremely high reliability, and support real-time video, voice and data.

Coordinate resources
Managing an emergency situation involves many agencies, and it can be difficult for governmental systems and processes to transition from normal to extreme operations. For faster and more coordinated emergency responses, managers need information and insights to adapt to rapidly changing situations. An Emergency Management Centre solution would offers near-real-time situational awareness to help improve decision-making speed, accuracy and effectiveness.

Emergency Management Centre solutions are designed to help authorities with coordinated planning, mitigation, response and recovery efforts. Geospatial and analytical software is used to help aggregate information from various sources, identify adverse conditions, determine and assess multiple responsive actions and monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the actions. You can see what resources and personnel are available and where they are needed. Using the dashboard, you can dispatch the correct equipment and resources based on information coming in from the scene.

An Emergency Management Centre solution would help agencies anticipate and proactively plan with a near real-time, unified view of operations. Users can see what resources and personnel are available and where they are needed. Users can dispatch the correct equipment and resources based on information coming in from the scene.

The event processing and delivery framework in an Emergency Management Center solution would make use of advanced analytics to help users recognize and visualize events so they can draw intelligent conclusions about how events relate to each other. Using a proper Emergency Management Centre solution allows the user to better anticipate what is likely to happen instead of simply reacting to events as they occur.

The Emergency Management Centre solution would offer visualization across space and time. Users can access real-time analytics and run analyses on specific factors or perform what-if analysis. Using the Emergency Management solution, users can:

  • Minimize disruptions to public services and activities for citizens.
  • Preserve critical services and resources, and minimize issues.
  • Recognize events as they arise so responses can be put in place to manage the impacts and the consequences.
  • Monitor a city’s progress using key performance indicators.

Law Enforcement
Law enforcement agencies face increasing pressure. The traditional “protect and serve” role has grown beyond just policing and now includes responsibilities such as emergency management and terrorism interdiction. And more than ever, the public expects law enforcement agencies to be proactive and pre-empt crime. When shrinking budgets and hiring challenges are added, the pressures on law enforcement agencies and personnel can make an already stressful environment even more difficult.

Law enforcement solutions help law enforcement agencies improve responses, reduce crime rate, and maximize limited resources. Law enforcement solutions combine data visualization with real-time collaboration and analytics capabilities to enable you to allocate your limited resources more intelligently by acting on insights in addition to traditional methods of gathering and processing information.

Information is the lifeblood of every law enforcement agency. But uncovering insights within that information has historically required extensive resources. Smart law enforcement solutions combine data collection, integration and visualization with real-time collaboration and analytics capabilities to allow you to allocate your limited resources more intelligently. By discovering and acting on insights instead of spending time gathering and processing information, you can respond to calls more effectively, combat crime and prevent crimes.

As a law enforcement officer, data can be the difference between life and death. Street-level data helps you do your job successfully and still go home at night. Your agency has archives of such data with citations, criminal records and field reports, but is that every bit of available information you need? Or are there clues to the puzzle hidden in fragments of data outside of your agency archives?

Smart law enforcement solutions successfully resolve each of a number of challenges. And in the process, these solutions can provide you with a wealth of information that can help you handle both current and future criminal threats. They do this by providing components that can:

  • Increase collaboration by providing a single, consolidated source of policing data.
  • Improve tactical and investigative lead generation and case closures by automatically ingesting, searching, analysing and organizing unstructured and structured data.
  • Enhance officer safety by providing supervisors with an accurate and up-to-date dashboard view of information integrated from multiple sources.

Intelligent Law Enforcement
Today, law enforcement agencies have access to a flood of data. And while law enforcement thrives on information, the sheer volume of internally and externally collected data often makes finding the right information at the right time a seemingly impossible task. Agencies that maximize their ability to quickly extract value from this data can reduce crime, meet new and emerging threats, improve officer safety and better meet rising public expectations.

Information is essential, but extracting the insights you need when you need them can be difficult. One answer is to employ cutting edge, automated tools that help you wade through that data to identify individuals, discover relationships, recognize trends and anticipate events. But these tools often present a piecemeal solution.

By contrast, Intelligent Law Enforcement solutions provides a holistic approach to creating actionable insights from that sea of information. More than just a data repository, Intelligent Law Enforcement allows officers and analysts to collaboratively gather data from a variety of sources, perform automated analyses, and develop actionable leads―regardless of staff location or the time of day. All while supplying command and operational staff with easily understood information for improved situational awareness and performance.

As a modularized, integrated solution that offers value out of the box, Intelligent Law Enforcement provides a flexible approach that gives you the freedom to roll out functionality based on your highest priorities. So it can help you realize more early successes while continuing to meet your needs as you move along the value curve from reactive to proactive policing.

Law enforcement agencies around the globe have embraced the efficiency and safety advantages of Intelligent Law Enforcement tools. From small town departments to major metropolitan organizations, agencies have realized these tools can help them:

  • Extend agency resources by optimizing the allocation of manpower and assets.
  • Increase officer safety and situational awareness by facilitating information sharing within a department, with other law enforcement agencies and with partner organizations.
  • Enhance traditional policing by shifting from reactive to proactive models.
  • Reduce crime rates within their communities.

Tactical Lead Generation
Law enforcement agencies are experiencing rising caseloads and constrained budgets. As a result, the pressure mounts from citizens and elected leaders to resolve backlogged cases. That requires that officers generate higher value leads more quickly.

The difficulty is data. Law enforcement agencies are already overwhelmed by the volume of data in their own systems. And they often lack access to critical information housed in other law enforcement organizations. The effort required to generate high quality leads from this environment is resource- and time-intensive.

Solving cases is like a giant puzzle, one that requires assembling hundreds or thousands of pieces. These pieces are the collected bits of data that reside in internal and external law enforcement systems. The tactical lead generation solution, featuring specific software helps officers solve these puzzles faster.

One example is IBM COPLINK which will provide a single source of trusted access to data from law enforcement systems such as records management systems, citations, bookings and more. COPLINK also includes support for law enforcement information sharing initiatives around the world. This provides officers with automated, near simultaneous access to a wealth of external data.

Further, COPLINK and its tools automate mining the information in these systems. They provide the ability to conduct effective analysis, present the results with geographic information systems (GIS), charting and analytical tools, and visualize relationships, associations and incident progressions over time. All of which help quickly generate high quality investigative leads and allow your officers to solve more crimes with less analytic effort.

Law enforcement agencies around the world have realized that software can help them solve more crimes without expanding staff, keep officers and communities safer, and disrupt ongoing crime and terrorism activities. These tools help agencies solve cases faster by:

  • Integrating data from internal and external law enforcement systems.
  • Automating repetitive or periodic searches of that data.
  • Visually displaying associations, patterns and promising leads from that data.
  • Delivering threat information from that data anytime, anywhere.

img solution 15-7Public Agencies & Infrastructure Video Surveillance
Today’s world requires comprehensive surveillance to protect airports, railways, bridges and ports from sabotage, terrorism, theft or vandalism. But video surveillance alone has not improved site security nor sufficiently reduced its safety risks, even with an increased number of cameras. Magnetic tapes take storage space, eventually wear out and aren't easily shared between security centres. Reviewing an event can take hours or even weeks to find evidence. Digital technology and video analytics provide the opportunity to get more value out of the video content captured and stored.

A Video correlation and analysis suite would provide the ability to view, monitor and digitally record activity throughout your environment with real-time access to your critical security information. A VCAS incorporates IT security and physical security to make it easier for airports and railway stations to use video surveillance for pedestrian flow monitoring and analysis, pedestrian safety, cargo inspection and other transportation logistics. A VCAS provides a number of advantages over traditional video solutions, including:

  • Real-time alerts that can help anticipate incidents by identifying suspicious behaviour
  • Enhanced forensic capabilities that allow unique indexing and attribute-based search of video events to classify objects into categories such as people and cars
  • Situational awareness of a location, identity through facial recognition and activity of objects in a monitored space, such as abandoned luggage

Because a VCAS would be IP-based, it is instrumented, capturing video as a stream and transporting it over an IP-based network for further indexing and analysis. Rules can be set for detection of unusual activities. Video can be interconnected and shared among multiple security locations, and activities monitored across multiple premises, potentially reducing the need for staffing. Videos in digital format can be compressed, archived and stored away for years, making retrieval of archived digital videos a much easier task than retrieval of an analogue video tape at a physical storage facility.

In addition to basic video capture, a VCAS solution can be integrated with advanced technology such as wireless networking, facial recognition analytics, license plate recognition and data analysis to improve operational efficiency and provide intelligence to respond immediately to real-time events.

A VCAS can enhance security at transportation facilities, including airports, ports, railways and roadways. The solution can help:

  • Provide efficient video sequence data analysis either in real time or after an event occurs.
  • Use existing technologies to reduce implementation costs.
  • Utilize metadata search, which supports a wide range of queries on events that may or may not have been previously defined as alerts.
  • Track vehicles on roads or people on pavement to better understand traffic patterns, report congestion, provide real-time traffic assistance and support traffic planning.

Ahead of public safety threats
Today’s public safety threats are more sophisticated, numerous and mobile, keeping pace requires intelligence. This means you must have access to accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive structured, unstructured, entity, link and property data. Just as important, you must be able to quickly and thoroughly analyse that information and extract actionable data and intelligence from the vast amounts of information stored.

Modern analytics software and solutions can do this. Using powerful automated analytics, these intelligence solutions provide the tools to help you identify, uncover, disrupt, deter and prosecute these threats. And the analysis results are available to authorized users when and where they are needed with data modification restricted only to users authorized to edit the results.

Emergency Management
The public safety environment has changed dramatically. While public safety agencies remain the first line of defence, the threats agencies now face are more sophisticated. The perpetrators behind these threats use modern technology, operate across multiple jurisdictions and are skilled at disguising and achieving their nefarious goals. Although agencies can combat these threats with information, today’s information universe has become overwhelming, is widely dispersed and can be almost impossible to piece together.

Because these more sophisticated threats are numerous and mobile, keeping pace requires intelligence. This means you must have access to accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive structured, unstructured, entity, link and property data. Just as important, you must be able to quickly and thoroughly analyse that information and extract actionable intelligence.

Integrated intelligence analysis solutions can help you do this. Using powerful automated analytics, these intelligence solutions provide the tools to help you identify, uncover, disrupt, deter and prosecute these threats. And the analysis results are available to authorized users when and where they are needed with data modification restricted only to users authorized to edit the results.

While secure and actionable intelligence is crucial to public safety efforts, to be effective the intelligence analysis solutions must also fit within existing organizational and IT infrastructures.

Many organizations worldwide have realized that the technology and capabilities found in the integrated intelligence analysis solutions help staff focus on ensuring public safety rather than scouring through data. The solutions do this by automating data exploitation and hypotheses testing, thereby providing staff with the various data elements they need to assemble a cohesive situational view.

Agencies and organizations that take advantage of these solutions will be able to:

  • Reveal key insights through intelligent analyses.
  • Integrate intelligence into existing organizational and IT infrastructures.
  • Provide staff with timely, secure and available anywhere intelligence.
  • Manage and manipulate data efficiently across geographic and jurisdictional boundaries.

Organizations worldwide have found that emergency management solutions can help mitigate potential events, prepare for future threats and adverse events, respond professionally to those events, and quickly return the community to normal. Organizations that take advantage of these solutions may benefit from:

  • Reduced response time using almost real-time access to data.
  • Increased responder safety due to shared data across organizational boundaries.
  • Elevated public support from visibly improved performance.
  • Lower direct costs by using existing resources more productively.
  • Reduced indirect costs because of fewer adverse community impacts.

Content Analytics
Public safety is becoming increasingly more difficult to provide. Blame it on the fast-paced, interconnected world we live in. Municipalities face a growing mountain of data from more types of networks, making timely, synchronized analysis and response ever more difficult. Even reacting to natural events becomes more challenging, given constantly mobile populations. With non-stop data streams, perhaps the best hope is finding a way to gather the data faster, analyse it intelligently and deliver information that can save lives and protect property.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions provide an integrated suite of applications and tools with industry-leading capabilities. They deliver combined analysis of both structured content such as report data and statistics, and unstructured content like email and social networking posts, enabling agencies to enhance crime-fighting, emergency planning and incident response.

As cities and regions compete in the global marketplace for work, investment and talent, public safety is a crucial factor in determining overall quality of life. Smarter public safety is not simply a responsibility of government, but also a priority for economic success. ECM solutions can ensure urban communities thrive by helping agencies:

  • Transform masses of data into insight.
  • Support fast and easy interagency collaboration.
  • Optimize decision making and resource allocation.

Social Safety
The social cohesion is the key of economic development, and the public safety agencies are responsible for protecting the lives and property safety of citizens in peace times and emergency situations. The system provides a unified way for emergency warning, response, command and rescue, improving the efficiency of emergency handling and routine law enforcement.

Environment Safety
Public concern about environmental pollution is mounting. The environmental safety has become an essential part of public safety and has been paid more and more attention by the government. The Public Safety Solution includes environmental monitoring system which provides a unified platform for monitoring, intelligent warning and visual management of environmental pollutions including atmosphere, water quality and noise, etc., and provides multi-ways for the convenient query of environmental indexes for the public.

Disaster Warning and Rescue
Natural disaster generally causes fatal impact on lives and properties of public. The disaster preventing and post-disaster rescue & reconstruction is the most important step. The Public Safety Solution provides disaster warning of various natural disasters, such as flood, typhoon, earthquake, mud-rock flow and so on, and fast disaster response and rescue platform which implements unified command, dispatching and cooperation among different public safety agencies.

The Public Safety Solution has six aspects of highlights, fully compatible with the modern public safety system requirements.

The system has a series of applications which serve for the daily work of public safety department, such as mobile law enforcement, mobile video monitoring and so on.

The system has the off-line video analysis, on-line face recognition and other intelligent video analysis functions, to help law enforcement personnel to rapidly locate the suspect. At the same time, the natural disasters and ecological environment system with intelligent automatic alarm function can inform the public and rescue personnel in the first time.

The system has real-time video monitoring system, a unified command and dispatching platform and GoTa high speed voice and data dispatching system, to ensure that the emergency personnel arrived at the scene in the first time.

The system has unified command and dispatching platform and unified public safety management platform, can well arrange in different public safety agencies and different personnel for command and coordination, and also interact with the public.

The system has very strong empty confidentiality and end-to-end encryption mechanism, making eavesdropping become very difficult.

The system has the reliability of telecommunication level. The whole network level reliability reaches 99.99%, at the same time the terminal equipment has high reliability, high waterproof ratings and dustproof indexes.