Continued budget cuts has resulted in staff reductions in many law enforcement and justice agencies, increasing pressure to reduce operational costs and increase efficiency. Many of these agencies are looking to modernize their IT infrastructure to improve collaboration and data sharing. This type of connected justice system helps ensure that accurate, useful information gets to the right people at the right time so they can make faster, more-informed decisions.
The Internet of Things (IoT) plays an important role in the collection, analysis and delivery of data to those who need it. The IoT consists of a wide range of Internet-connected devices, from the smartphones, tablets and PCs used by humans to sensors, video cameras and more. These devices make it possible to digitize many processes, and quickly access data from backend systems. The IoT also enables the delivery of rich, multimedia data that empowers law enforcement and justice personnel to work quickly, efficiently and safely.
IoT for Law Enforcement
IoT technology can help to pick up the slack in a number of areas where law enforcement is feeling the effects of budget cuts. Officers can use tablets in the field to record information, file reports and conduct interviews instead of waiting until they get back to the office. This streamlines processes, avoids unnecessary travel and delays, improves the management of evidence, and reduces errors and costs.
The multimedia data collected by IoT devices also improves situational awareness. When responding to a call or investigating an incident, dispatchers and officers can make decisions based on sound, images and video rather than static information. This reduces risk to citizens and the responding officers.
IoT for Courts
IoT-based solutions for courts allow for face-to-face communication without the cost, complexity and time requirements of travel, whether across town or within the courthouse. Any movement of inmates introduces risk, and video allows courts to avoid that risk without affecting the quality of communication.
The ability to allow remote judgements, arraignments and testimony improves citizen access to court services, moves cases through the courts more quickly and allows courts to scale resources. Also, interpreters can be brought in remotely via video conference, avoiding delays and providing access to a wider range of languages.
IoT for Corrections
Overcrowding in many corrections facilities has created major problems in terms of cost, staffing and safety. Again, the collaboration and data access enabled by IoT technology can simplify facility processes and reduce transportation and administrative costs. These tools can also help corrections personnel manage inmates and control contraband, while improving access to counsel and facilitating remote visitations.
In addition, the IoT can reduce the need for inmate transfers that cause delays and increase the risk of harm to staff, citizens and the inmates themselves. Education, healthcare, and other federally mandated services can be provided via video. Remote interpretation, arraignments and court appearances also save time and money while reducing risk.
In the next post, we’ll discuss how Cisco Connected Justice brings together law enforcement, courts and corrections to improve the efficiency, accuracy and safety of justice service delivery.