Next generation mobile intelligence: What does mobility really mean for public safety agencies?
By Steve Crutchfield, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Motorola Solutions
Tuesday, 04 October, 2016
Public safety agencies globally are investing in technologies to enable them to access essential information in a more mobile way — a concept often referred to as mobility.
Being able to access critical information while on the move is an important way of helping public safety agencies manage their daily workflows, while helping increase productivity and safety.
As technologies shift to broadband-based solutions, public safety agencies are looking for more effective ways to share intelligence between first responders working either in the field or in vehicles with their colleagues in the command centre.
In response to this need, Motorola Solutions has developed its vision for smart public safety, Next Generation Mobile Intelligence (NGMI), which is designed to help public safety agencies reach their goals of greater safety and operational efficiency. This can be achieved by placing the right information into the hands of first responders using a choice of devices, the best available networks and purpose-built, public safety grade applications.
We have identified the combination of four key principles which help define how public safety agencies can achieve their goals of better performance through smart technology, and these principles are central to NGMI. They are mobility, connections, intelligence and partnerships. Let’s look at the first principle of mobility in more detail.
In the context of public safety, mobility solutions enable agencies to integrate a choice of devices and applications to deliver information in a format that suits technology users in accordance with their roles.
A choice of devices
A vital element of mobility is having the ability to perform a role using a choice of devices. The challenge for public safety agencies is to ensure their teams’ ability to communicate and coordinate responses is not compromised by the use of a mixed fleet of devices, networks and applications.
The range of devices available will naturally be more limited due to greater requirements for durability, security, reliability and accessibility to specific systems.
Nevertheless, working in public safety, as with any other work environment, involves completing a range of tasks which could mean using a selection of communications devices. This may include a combination of mission-critical devices, such as the rugged LEX L10 handheld, or consumer-grade devices like a smart phone or tablet. Some responders may need waterproof devices for their role. Others need rugged devices for harsher environments or a larger screen to manage data input tasks.
Having the right device is essential. This frees responders from work they might otherwise need to do back at the station by placing the right device at their fingertips, bringing convenience and efficiency in managing their daily workflows.
Right information to the right person
Once the choice of device/s is determined, the right information must then be delivered to the right person in a format that is easy for them to consume. This enables improved collaboration, enhanced decision-making, more efficient use of resources and better outcomes for both agencies and the community.
So what does mobility look like in a practical sense?
Imagine a siege situation where an offender has taken a small group of people hostage in a public building, such as a library.
With the right mobility principles in place, officers can collaborate on the best approach to the incident. Utilising a public safety grade mapping and whiteboard application can enable all responders to access a single, common operating picture of what is transpiring at all time.
Meanwhile, operators at the command and control centre can scan footage relayed back via the officer’s body-worn camera. The control centre can also monitor social media feeds for vital information.
The outcome is the ability to filter and analyse multiple information sources to identify ‘actionable intelligence’, meaning information that can be acted upon.
Mobility is a key principle in placing information into the hand of first responders.
With access to superior intelligence delivered to the right people in the right format and on the right device, responders can make better decisions and deliver better outcomes, helping to keep the community safe.
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