March 2, 2022/Innovation
Transparency in Public Safety: Using Data to Build Trust
Building true partnership with the community requires a relationship of trust between agencies and the citizens they serve.
Transparency and communication have long been the cornerstone of establishing and maintaining that trust with the public. Now, the need for law enforcement agencies to share information in a way that is timely and accessible has never been greater.
Luckily, technology is making it easier to keep citizens informed without overwhelming agency staff who are already stretched thin.
From crime data to FOIA requests, here are three ways agencies can foster transparency:
- Open Data Portals: Citizens want to see crime data in a form that is easy for civilians to understand. Online crime data portals give citizens a straightforward tool, often using an interactive map, that shows what types of incidents are happening in their community. Adding a dashboard with statistics that are important to your area can make the portal even more useful.
To create a new or improved open data portal, agencies should have a plan for the information they want to share as well as the tools to gather, analyze and present that data.
Modern CAD & Records Management Systems streamline data collection and provide built-in analytics and intelligence tools that can integrate with online citizen portals. Agencies can use these tools to show real-time statistics and trends, such as 911 calls by incident type, with graphs and other visualizations.
- Public Safety Apps for 2-Way Communication: Citizens often have intel that can help law enforcement, but they hesitate to share if there isn’t an easy way to do so securely and anonymously. Public Safety Apps give the public a way to anonymously share information – be it a picture, video or a tip – straight from their phone or through an online portal. Agencies can use the same app to share updates with citizens and communicate important safety alerts.
- AI powered Redaction for Public Records Requests: Not only have requests for public records steadily increased over the past few years, agencies are now managing more data in the form of reports and video footage. Traditional methods of redacting sensitive information – such as names, Social Security Numbers, and faces – can take hours for a single request.
With smart redaction tools, like those in 365™ RMS, records staff can easily prepare reports for release in a fraction of the time. Similarly, AI-powered redaction for body camera footage can automatically detect and obscure faces, license plates and other private information. At a time when many agencies are already operating with less staff, these tools enable them to keep up with growing requests from citizens.
To learn more ways to stay engaged and build partnership with your Community, click here.