A Look at the Increasingly Critical Role of Mobile Technology in Public Safety

Over the years, we’ve seen technology truly change the way public safety officers work. Starting with the transition from pen and paper to rugged mobile laptops and tablets, to body-worn cameras and most recently President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, technology has been critical in improving both officer and community safety.

For example, technology like ShotSpotter uses intelligent analysis to recognize gun shots. Microphones are placed in discrete locations in high crime neighborhoods to capture the sound of gun fire to alert police with an exact location of the shooting—within seconds. Using “acoustic triangulation” along with GPS, Shotspotter relays information to dispatch. Dispatch can then provide real-time information to an officer’s mobile device in-vehicle.  This technology is able to provide police and first responders with an immediate alert to reduce critical response time in life threatening situations. No 911 call is needed.

ShotSpotter is just one piece of the expanding technology arsenal for public safety. In order for an alert like this to be effective, police need a reliable wireless network to deliver true value to the solution. When responding to a scene, EMS and law enforcement also need rugged, reliable devices to ensure they can access life-saving information in any environment they encounter.

We have heard over and over again from our law enforcement customers that it is critical to have technology that works the way they do. Officers are increasingly relying on technology to serve them when it matters most. Devices need to withstand the demands of the job while enhancing efficiency. If a device is not enhancing the job function, it can decrease productivity and make work even more difficult. A device that is unreliable, cannot connect or fails in harsh weather environments is not an option in emergency response situations, because officers in the field rely on GPS location data and valuable information from dispatch.

A rugged reliable device when partnered with a high quality wireless network, acts as a mobile hotspot. This allows officers in the field to receive critical information from dispatch to their mobile device in-vehicle or on their rugged tablet while out in the field. In public safety applications, this is critical in providing locations, real-time data and staying connected with first responders or other agencies while responding to calls or in emergency situations. These connections make response times faster keeping both the community and police officers safe.

Every piece of your total technology solution must perform reliably to deliver its true value. Officers need technology that is purpose-built to work in their environment. Any small glitch, like loss of connection, or unreliable hardware will cause a solution to be ineffective and can have serious consequences on the job.

As technology continues to evolve and enhance public safety capabilities, it’s important to do thorough research when investing in a purchase so you count on your technology when it matters most.

To learn more about Panasonic’s rugged computers and tablets, visit http://business.panasonic.com/toughbook/laptop-computers.html.