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These days it seems nearly impossible to turn on the news without hearing any mention of gun violence in the United States. As gun violence continues to ravage the country, law enforcement officials and political representatives continue to search for ways to improve public safety and reduce the occurrence of attacks in public spaces like schools and shopping malls among others. Some of the ways government agencies and law enforcement are attempting to combat attacks on public safety are through the use of technological advancements like high-tech surveillance systems, mobile applications, and more.
Public Safety Related Technology
Video And Audio Surveillance Systems
Security systems have been used for many years by private business owners to deter crime and reduce the risk of employee theft among a number of other reasons. With advances in CCTV technology over recent decades, people can find these surveillance systems on almost every street corner in major cities. Public surveillance systems have aided in providing concrete evidence of crimes committed, identifying criminals, and recording violations of justice. As this technology continues to improve, the photo and audio on these devices have become more advanced at capturing detailed images like license plate numbers, identifying features, and more.
Smart Street Light Systems
One of the newest advancements in crime deterrence is the use of smart street light systems. The way these systems function is by using a series of cameras and sensors incorporated into normal streetlights that detect motion. Once motion has been detected, all surrounding lights will brighten until the movement is no longer in range, aiding in reducing crime and improving public safety at night. Depending on the level of technology desired, these systems may also be able to perform additional functions like detecting weather conditions, monitoring traffic, or integrating an emergency alert system or intercom.
Mobile Based Security Applications
During the Parkland shooting in 2018, an armed gunman opened fire on students in a public high school, killing 17 students including 14 year old Alyssa Alhadeff. Since the shooting, Alyssa’s parents and government officials have passed Alyssa’s Law Florida which requires all public schools to implement mobile panic alert systems to connect with teachers, students, and first responders to coordinate emergency procedures and services in real-time. As research into communication during a public safety breach such as school shootings has revealed multiple issues with current systems, the hope is that having universal public safety systems in place will help reduce casualties and increase the response time of law enforcement and other emergency response services.
In some areas of the country, police have started utilizing drone surveillance to improve police safety while conducting search efforts, investigating potentially threatening scenarios, and locating weapons. As this technology has proven to be beneficial to police investigation, investment in advancing drone technology has been focused on increasing the flight time of drones, improving video quality, and adding infrared technology to detect body heat.
Body Camera Systems
Over recent years, the invention of virtually undetectable recording devices has transformed public safety by allowing law enforcement and members of the general public to capture information inconspicuously. Often utilized by law enforcement officers when working undercover, these recording devices can also be used by members of the general public for personal protection against automobile accidents, police discrimination and violence, and more. In addition to recording video footage, more advanced pieces of equipment can connect to Wifi services, provide automated transcription, and store large amounts of footage.
Biometric Detection And Monitoring Systems
In recent years, biometrics has become more advanced and is a useful monitoring tool for government and law enforcement agencies. Biometric devices are used to identify people based on certain physical characteristics such as fingerprints, facial features, eye patterns, voiceprints, and more. This information is then stored in a secure database and agencies with access to the database can perform searches to help identify persons of interest in public security threats among other useful information.
Inclusive Technology Systems
When it comes to public safety, there’s no one who understands it better than members of the general public. Even with all of the technological advancements in public safety over the years, they are not useful without transparency, fairness, and inclusion. Innovative technology must have safeguards in place to protect the private information of members of the general public. Additionally, users must be appropriately trained on using new equipment to ensure a cohesive approach to public safety technology and information as well as to ensure open communication with the public on how these techniques and equipment are utilized in a positive manner to increase public safety.