AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

The Future of Policing: How the Cloud Adds Agility to your Police Department

If you’ve ever attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) annual show, you may have seen the helicopters, armored vehicles, body armor, and firearms. Cloud technology has also become a powerful instrument for justice and public safety. As data becomes more integral to effective emergency response, IACP plays host to a growing number of IT firms contributing to this community’s unique needs.

The future of policing will involve collecting and analyzing the troves of data provided by officers and first responders, and putting it to new, productive use. This is where IT-sector innovation comes in. The result is a transformation among public safety organizations – from increasing access to information, to saving critical time, to ultimately improving how officers protect citizens.

Cloud computing is a key component of this workflow. It equips these institutions with agility and scalability, the ability to store and analyze data, and new avenues for innovation. The following cloud-based systems and solutions are re-shaping the future of policing.

Artificial Intelligence

Traditionally, police department intelligence has been stored in disparate, unstructured databases that don’t communicate. This leads to a taxing, manual process for making sense of data points. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), users benefit from greater access and insight into data.

Veriton’s platform, hosted on AWS, provides a method for automatically processing, managing, and analyzing data across many sources. This cloud-based solution produces actionable information, accessible in real-time, and improves transparency across a department.

In a similar capacity, ShotSpotter delivers real-time gunshot notifications to law enforcement to help them dispatch to the precise location of an incident. This system helps officials discover evidence, assist victims where possible, and make arrests.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office uses Amazon Rekognition to identify persons of interest by cross-referencing mugshots in its system. The power of automated facial recognition allows the department to turn around investigations faster and focus on credible leads.

Body Cameras

Body cameras and digital-evidence management solutions are growing quickly in the justice and public safety space. When combined with the cloud, these tools enable law enforcement to collect, securely store, and analyze video data from a variety of sources – from dash cameras, to surveillance footage, to citizen-generated videos.

For example, the Lawrence Police Department (LPD) has found that body cameras can lead to the de-escalation of dangerous situations. By integrating with AWS, they provide digestible data for training and assessment and increased collaboration between agencies. The LPD stores output from its intricate three-camera system in a manner that is compliant with the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS).

Data Management

As justice and public safety organizations increasingly turn to the cloud to collect and synthesize information, the secure storage and organization of data have become equally important.

Mark43 has helped empower police departments with a cloud-based computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system and records management system (RMS), both of which run on AWS. Together, these applications create a robust platform for police dispatch, report writing, case investigations, evidence management, and crime analysis. Mark43’s software tools enable departments to process millions of records in a matter of seconds, and maintain CJIS compliance.

Camden County, New Jersey was a recent beneficiary of Mark43’s work with the cloud. The added transparency across RMS and CAD systems has allowed Camden police to better assess crime trends and proactively allocate resources. “We know what is going on hour to hour and minute to minute and we can adjust our deployment accordingly,” Camden’s then Director of Strategic Intelligence Analysis, Kerry Yerico, told GovTech. “If you have a strong data system, it takes so much of the guesswork out of things for the first responder. They go to the scene armed with the knowledge of what they are entering into.”

Learn more about next-generation cloud technology that’s ushering in a new era of policing. Also, track AWS at the IACP event by following us on twitter @AWS_Gov.