What to Expect at IACP Technology Conference 2018: Improving Officer Safety and Intelligence in the Field

At the 2018 IACP Technology Conference, law enforcement professionals from around the world will gather to discuss the issues and challenges facing officers today. This year’s theme is “Technology, Transparency, Transformation,” prompting attendees to come together to discuss how police and public safety officials are investing in communication to better serve communities.. The three-day conference will bring together industry thought leaders from a diverse group of agencies to generate ideas, create best practices and identify solutions to improve the performance and wellbeing of officers.

At last year’s conference, highlights included the importance of building community trust, how to deal with active shooter situations and leveraging data to combat violence. The biggest takeaway? The role of law enforcement professionals is becoming increasingly multi-faceted, and as a result, it is imperative that agencies upgrade their tools and technology to match the pace of the industry’s evolution.

At the same time, agencies are often operating under tight budget constraints, and they can’t always afford to invest in the newest hardware and software on the market. In fact, a report from Panasonic and VDC Research found that budget constraints are an obstacle for nearly 80 percent of public safety decision makers. To combat this, many organizations are partnering with a technology vendor to identify and integrate the applications that enhance existing rugged mobile devices.

Reliable Connectivity and Communication

According to the same study, slow data speeds are the single greatest technical challenge agencies face when it comes to performance constraints and functionality. A lack of connectivity was the third biggest factor, followed by similar issues such as non-user friendly devices and poor data storage. To stay connected behind the wheel or at the office, law enforcement agencies must adopt the tools and technologies that bridge the gap between disparate teams, eliminate data silos and ensure that officers are able to receive actionable intelligence in the field.

The good news? Many agencies are already implementing a range of solutions to optimize officer productivity. Over 60 percent of public safety officers are using both a laptop and a smartphone in their daily workflows and emerging tools, like body cameras and in-car video, are beginning to reach wider adoption. Not only are rugged mobile computing devices favored due to their adaptability, but they allow officers to access critical data and information wherever the job takes them.

At this year’s IACP Technology Conference, presenters will discuss topics such as FirstNet, the use of in-vehicle mobile technologies, the effective use of big data and integrating your existing technology investments. Attendees will learn about the specific services, resources and devices that agencies are integrating to build a more connected network that streamlines the communication process between officers and other stakeholders.

Emerging Technologies Improving Officer Safety

According to Panasonic and VDC Research, improving officer safety was ranked as the most critical operational initiative among the public safety organizations surveyed. Law enforcement professionals have some of the most dangerous and demanding jobs out there, and it’s critical that the tools they use, both inside and outside of the vehicle, are built tough and are reliable in any situation. At the IACP Technology Conference 2018, attendees will see these new and emerging technologies in action, such as biometrics, wearables, multifactor authentication and voice recognition, which officers are using to improve efficiency, prevent crime, and most importantly, stay safe.

The public safety profession is changing, but one thing remains the same – reliable communication is essential for success for any agency. Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers are purpose-built to meet and exceed the needs of law enforcement. They equip officers with technology that promotes safety, they are extremely reliable and can be used in all the environments they face. Public safety officers deal with immense challenges every day, which is why Panasonic is committed to helping customers transition to FirstNet, a dedicated network that provides priority and preemption to first responders who rely on communication during emergencies. To learn more about FirstNet, visit FirstNet.gov and stay tuned for a blog series documenting how Panasonic is helping first responders on their journey to FirstNet.

Attending the IACP Technology Conference? Find Panasonic Mobility at booth #510 and during my presentation, “Improving Officer Safety in the Age of Mobility,” on Tuesday, May 22 at 3 p.m.