To do their jobs effectively, police officers need to spend as much time as possible patrolling the streets of the communities they serve. Yet because many law enforcement agencies rely on outdated, paper-based data collection technologies, officers and detectives often find themselves spending too much time at police headquarters writing reports and searching for records.
Additionally, 911 call takers need reliable and secure dispatch systems to effectively help police officers get to crime scenes promptly. However, 911 call centers sometimes deal with system crashes and downtime that get in the way of their mission-critical jobs.
Addressing these challenges is the main goal of Mark43, which develops public safety software. “Our goal is to streamline an agency’s critical workflows, from 911 calls to officers arriving at a crime scene, to crime analysts reporting to the Department of Justice,” says Matthew Polega, the co-founder & vice president of operations for Mark43. “We want to provide a seamless front-to-back experience for police officers, dispatchers, and other end users. We also wanted to be able to quickly grow our business and expand our platform throughout the US. To do that, we realized the cloud was the best place to build our solutions.”
Early on in its search for a cloud technology provider, Mark43 decided on Amazon Web Services (AWS). “We work closely with the Department of Justice, and it had conducted a study that showed AWS as the clear leader in cloud technology,” Polega says. “We also kept hearing about more and more government agencies moving applications to AWS. To us, the decision was very clear.”
Once it decided to use AWS, Mark43 became an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner. Relying on AWS, Mark43 built Mark43 RMS, a records management system and Mark43 CAD, a computer aided dispatch system. Both solutions are hosted in the AWS GovCloud (US), an isolated AWS region that is used for highly sensitive workloads. The solutions also run on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and use AWS services including AWS Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing.
Mark43 RMS enables police to collect, manage, analyze, and share key crime and investigation data in a centralized application. Wherever they are working, officers and investigators can quickly and easily access the data from phones, tablets, or laptops. Similarly, Mark43 CAD gives 911 call takers and responding units a modern, web-based solution for managing emergency calls efficiently and safely. Bidirectional syncing between Mark43 RMS and Mark43 CAD is also available.
Using the Mark43 platform, organizations like the Richmond, California, Police Department can access and share crime data in real time, wherever its officers are located. “Multiple teams in our department can access up-to-date crime report and case data in Mark43 RMS all day, every day, because it is based on AWS,” says Sgt. Timothy Gard of the Richmond Police Department. “And when someone updates a report, the people viewing that report see the changes in real time.”
Because Richmond Police Department employees can easily access data without spending time searching multiple systems, the department can complete crime reports faster. Previously, if employees wanted to view reports offsite, they needed to print reports, copy them, scan them as PDFs, and send them to their personal emails. “A typical homicide report can be 80 pages long, so that would take many hours to do. Now, using Mark43’s RMS, I can access the entire report and all associated documents with the click of a button, which saves a lot of time,” says Gard.
With Mark43 RMS, the Richmond Police Department is also better equipped to protect the citizens of Richmond. “Because all of us can see and share report data in a centralized system based on AWS, we have a better ability to directly impact people’s lives in the city because we have the best data possible to complete our investigations,” Gard says. “And everything—from reports to photographs to other attachments—is linked in the RMS, so we can always see all related documents in one place. This makes investigations much easier.” Adds Kevin Fray, lead solutions architect for Mark43, “Because our solution takes advantage of the reliability and flexibility of AWS, it gives police officers the ability to very quickly create and share reports. Ultimately, that helps put officers on the streets faster.”
By leveraging a software-as-a-service model, Mark43 is helping its customers save money. “In older systems, maintenance and upgrades were additional charges,” says Polega. “But using a SaaS model on AWS, we can wrap all that up in our subscription price. That’s a huge win for budget-conscious police departments.”
Finally, Mark43 is benefiting from its status as an AWS APN partner. “As an AWS APN partner, we get access to a host of other technology companies, and we are developing great relationships with those companies,” says Regina Orlando, Mark43 product marketing manager. “With these partnerships, we can keep growing our business and support our mutual mission of ensuring public-safety operations are running securely in the cloud.”
Mark43, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner based in New York City, develops cloud-based software solutions for the public-safety industry. The Mark43 platform offers records management system (RMS) and computer aided dispatch (CAD) applications for a growing number of police departments and other public-service organizations.
Learn more about the AWS GovCloud (US), Amazon's cloud region designed to host sensitive data, regulated workloads, and address the most stringent U.S. government security and compliance requirements.