- Tradition vs modernization
- Citizen and recruit expectations
- What public safety solutions are available today?
- What are the benefits?
- The danger of being left behind
Technology is now a part of our daily lives. It has revolutionized industries and reshaped the world in ways we never could have imagined even a few years ago. Public safety solutions have had a similar impact over the last couple of decades by helping public safety agencies prepare for and respond to emergencies and crises of all sizes.
However, as with any transformation and revolution, some challenges hinder the widespread adoption of public safety technology. These can include dealing with traditions, old ways of doing things, and the fear of failure among agency leaders.
But the benefits far outweigh any perceived drawbacks. From virtual and augmented reality for training simulations to drones with thermal imaging capabilities for fire response, the potential for public safety technology solutions seems endless.
Let's delve into the landscape of public safety technology solutions. We’ll examine what’s available, what the future could look like, and potential obstacles to adopting public safety solutions in your agency. We'll also showcase some solutions from public safety solution companies that could be particularly relevant for you today.
Tradition vs modernization
Public safety agencies have a solid foundation built on long-standing traditions which can also make them resistant to change or adopting new ideas. Leaders can be afraid to try new products and technology because they're afraid these solutions will fail, which can affect their job stability. In turn, that creates a culture of dismissing new tech if it doesn't work or isn’t understood immediately.
However, it's essential to realize that sticking to tradition and feeling uncomfortable with change are not good reasons to avoid technology. These new solutions can bring long-term benefits to agencies and the community.
Leaders are responsible for instituting a culture that embraces change and sees the value in modernizing. This way, agencies can enhance public safety operations, create better outcomes, and make their communities safer places to live and work.
Citizen and recruit expectations
The prevalence of technology and increased public scrutiny have created sky-high citizen expectations for services and communications from public safety agencies. Citizens want the latest public safety technology to protect them but also the utmost privacy. This is a challenge for public safety leaders, who are understandably wary of disrupting public trust by introducing new technology.
To address these concerns, agencies must practice transparency and effective communication. To build a foundation of trust, agencies can highlight how technology will benefit citizens and openly share how it will be used and implemented.
Additionally, the latest generation of recruits – Millennials and Generation Z – have grown up in a digital age where technology has always been around. They expect the improvements and efficiencies that come with adopting new technology. Public safety agencies need to use this expectation to attract and retain top talent, ensuring they have a skilled workforce in the future.
Public safety solution companies have the kinds of technology that Millennials and Gen Z are already familiar with, at least in concept, so the learning curve is flatter for them than it might be for older officers. This will also help with overall retention and job satisfaction.
What’s available today?
Technology is available for nearly every aspect of public safety. Public safety solution companies can help with scheduling, policy management, training, wellness, accreditation, and community engagement.
There are also highly-specialized applications and fascinating advancements to help responders in the field. Some examples include:
For law enforcement:
- Virtual reality training simulations to enhance scenario-based training
- Body cameras to increase transparency and accountability
- Predictive analytics to identify crime patterns and allocate resources
- Drones and remote-controlled equipment for enhanced situational awareness
- Thermal imaging technology to detect heat sources and trapped individuals
For 9-1-1 dispatch:
- Artificial intelligence to assist in managing non-emergency calls and prioritizing responses
- Enhanced GPS for noting precise locations during emergencies
- Telemedicine solutions connect responders with doctors for real-time advice in the field
- Instant data sharing between responders and hospitals for seamless patient care
These are just a few examples of what’s available today in public safety technology. New advancements are being developed and introduced every day at a rapid pace.
What are the benefits?
Embracing public safety technology offers numerous benefits. For one thing, it attracts and retains top talent, ensuring a skilled and motivated workforce. It will keep Millennial and Gen Z recruits around longer, and the technology can help extend the careers of first responders by helping them with their mental and physical health.
It also streamlines operations, reduces administrative burdens, and improves overall agency performance. You can manage scheduling, wellness, policy management, training, and accreditation.
Public safety solutions also offer enhanced safety measures like improved communications and real-time data sharing, benefitting first responders and citizens. The public can more easily communicate with their public safety providers through community portals and digital communication channels.
It's also easier to gather and store data and information. This data can then be analyzed more easily and quickly, which leads to better decision-making and improved outcomes.
Digital tools enable more accessible information gathering, analysis, and data storage, leading to more effective decision-making and improved outcomes.
The danger of being left behind
Leaders who hesitate to adopt public safety technologies are in danger of being left behind, which can hurt their agencies' responses during emergencies and incidents. Technology is only advancing and becoming more widespread.
It's inescapable and inevitable, and future technological developments will require an understanding of the current technology and its functionality, which can lead to a much steeper learning curve for those who resist changing today. That learning curve can have far-reaching consequences, impacting recruiting efforts, employee retention, agency performance, and your relationship with the community.
Ultimately, this can make your agency less effective in mission-critical scenarios because responders either didn't have access or didn't know how to use available technology.
As the demands on public safety agencies continue to evolve and grow, it's up to agency leaders to embrace the different public safety technologies available to them. That means overcoming resistance to change and creating a culture that recognizes the benefits of modernization. The future of public safety lies in harnessing the power of technology to create safer communities and better serve our citizens.
To learn tips and strategies for how to effectively adopt new technology in your agency read this article.
To learn more about the public safety technology solutions offered by PowerDMS, visit our homepage or use the button below to schedule a free consultation with a friendly PowerDMS team member.