Law enforcement agencies have long collected data about individuals, from warrants and arrest records to criminal reports and personal background information. With law enforcement having a wealth of information available at their fingertips, many people worry about their privacy.
Data collection and surveillance have caused ongoing tension between the police and the communities they serve. Residents do not want their personal information shared without their express permission, especially when it is unclear how this information will be used in the future.
It is the responsibility of law enforcement to protect their communities while also safeguarding personal information. Since most public agencies, such as police departments, have access to a large volume of personal data, they must take the proper precautions to keep this information secure.
Privacy Risks in Community Policing
Law enforcement requires access to personal data to do their jobs effectively. This information is often used in investigations, to help solve crimes and to perform basic searches, such as running an ID during a routine traffic stop. Although the police have a right to this information, they must still abide by certain privacy and data protection laws.
There is a social contract in law enforcement in which members of the community agree to give up certain freedoms in exchange for protection from the police. Unfortunately, many communities like those in underserved neighborhoods do not have access to economic and social development due to unjust police practices or underfunded public safety organizations. In some cases, police presence raises the level of crime due to mistrust and decades of abuse.
There are many Americans that see the police as oppressors and do not trust them to protect them. With this social contract essentially broken, many members of the community are no longer willing to give up important freedoms like privacy in exchange for a service that they do not deem valuable.
Importance of Public Safety Technology
Over the last decade, public safety technology has significantly improved law enforcement’s ability to protect residents in communities across the country. Advanced policing platforms aim to prioritize the best interest of communities served by police departments, including the protection of personal privacy.
Public safety is an issue that is constantly evolving and reshaping the security landscape. Cybercrimes targeted at enterprises, governments or individuals have transformed the way law enforcement stores and handles sensitive data. In an attempt to resist these digital crimes, public safety agencies have adopted security solutions that are more reliable, portable and encounter fewer errors.
Latest Trends in the Public Safety Tech Sector
Law enforcement technology has gone through a series of changes in recent years designed to enhance communication and collaboration. Many tech companies are now implementing new functionality in their software, enabling law enforcement to better protect and serve civilians. Here is a look at some of the latest trends in the public safety tech sector:
- Internet of Things (IoT) – IoTs have been found to enhance situational awareness and improve officer safety. They can also provide more insight during investigations.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Gathering data is just the first step. Law enforcement must also be able to interpret large amounts of data to reap its benefits. AI can be used to synthesize data using user-configured thresholds.
- Greater Transparency – There is a push for law enforcement to be more transparent about what technologies and data sources they are using to obtain personal information.
Essential Types of Software in Law Enforcement
The role of a law enforcement software provider is to deliver tools and functionalities that will help police departments perform their duties more effectively. In decades past, law enforcement agencies relied mostly on paper records which resulted in wasted time and money. With the move toward law enforcement technology, police now have access to a wide range of software solutions. Some essential types of software for law enforcement include:
- Background Check Software – Used to reveal sensitive information like court records, previous arrests, sex offenses, warrants and convictions.
- Case Management Software – Used to analyze crime scenes, aid in investigations and allow for smoother collaboration with other organizations.
- Citation Software – Used to enter and store traffic citation data within a digital database.
- Database Software – Used to record and track criminal incidents that could prove useful in investigations.
- Investigation Software – Used to help law enforcement in investigations by providing tools like data sharing applications.
- Reporting Software – Used in field reporting to easily search federal and local databases.
- Scheduling Software – Used to keep workforce schedules up-to-date and accessible.
Reach Out to the Experts at CPI OpenFox Today
The experts at CPI OpenFox are helping to break down the barrier between law enforcement and the communities they serve. CPI OpenFox delivers innovative law enforcement software that leverages technology to create secure, reliable and optimized law enforcement systems.