Smart Public Safety
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SMART AND SAFE IN CITIES?
Many cities focus on addressing municipal challenges in areas like lighting, traffic, and parking. Even so, what cities are discovering is that the infrastructure being built to help make them more efficient can also be used to safeguard their citizens.
To make a smart city work, businesses in the urban environment are going to have to expand their thinking about public safety and the role they play in maintaining it. Where once private enterprises might have seen safety as falling outside of their business interests, today they must recognize that public safety is vital to their success.
Any organization that has a piece of a city, be it storefront, parking lot, or corporate campus, should recognize that their interests overlap with the city’s mandate to ensure that people can live, work, and play without fear or worry. When people feel safe, they access services more easily and spend money more freely. This increases opportunity for everyone.
Smart video and audio surveillance.
While video surveillance has been around for decades, smart technology and new audio capabilities can make it more effective, actionable and connected to other municipal systems. Consider the way that blind spots in video networks, low-quality imagery, and slow data retrieval hampers authorities’ efforts to protect their citizens. With smart video and audio capabilities, improvements to public safety efforts may include detecting vehicle license tags. Special high-resolution cameras can even hone in on potential suspects as well.
Smart street lighting systems.
Street lighting is often the first smart technology that cities adopt for reduced energy consumption. Lights also can be networked and altered remotely to deter crime, detect gunfire and make public safety announcements over loudspeakers.
Body-worn camera systems.
Now capable of more than recording videos, some smart body-worn camera systems can include automated transcription, Wi-Fi connectivity and other solutions to help with storing and processing the large amount of video data.
Biometric monitoring systems.
Some biometric devices can identify people based on fingerprints, facial features, iris patterns, gaits, voice prints and human thermal signatures. Back-end systems compare these features to a database of known individuals for positive recognition.
Analyzing crime statistics, weather patterns and other geographic information can help law enforcement use resources more efficiently and improve public safety by identifying predictive hot spots, putting police in locations where crime patterns have been established. It also can help police arriving at crime scenes better prepared to address a potential scenario.
Emergency and extreme weather response.
Powerful software tools used to aggregate information on local conditions and resources can help emergency response teams from different jurisdictions coordinate during an emergency.