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DEMS: Police Decision-Making Better than Before

By Maham Zaidi

There is a tremendous need for good decision-makers in today’s world. People, especially officers, are needed who can make decisions quickly and responsibly in a critical situation are the dire need. Therefore, it is so important for law enforcement agencies to teach good decision-making skills to their officers. To do this, they must understand the importance of decision-making, but there are many hurdles in their path.

Do your detectives have to log on to a dozen systems to collect evidence and manually search for connections in cases? Are they spending too much time emailing, phoning, even traveling from place to place to collect evidence manually? Does your agency lack scalable solutions for crowdsourcing evidence? Do they have a lot to think about other than the main goal, which is solving the case? Are they not able to make good, quick decisions? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, the VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management Software could help, but before jumping to that, let us gear up a little bit on the topic.

Importance of Accurate Police Decision-Making

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Making effective and sound decisions is an art that is learned through life experience. We understand how to make decisions during childhood, although we do not always realize that we are being taught to make decisions. As we grow older, the findings become more complex, and the ramifications of our decisions are more significant.

When it comes to law enforcement organization decision-making, the heat increases because of the huge responsibility and protection of the state. Accurate police decision-making holds great importance because it directly affects the state's safety, and effective instant decision-making is a key skill that should be present in police officers. The four basic skills needed to make instant important decisions include:

  1. Ignore your emotions and use formula instead.
  2. Know when to stop researching and commit to a decision.
  3. Delegate decisions to the appropriate party.
  4. Use the 5-Second Rule to activate the part of your brain that makes intuitive decisions.

Technology, however, has made the decision-making task more efficient and quicker. Technology can speed up data collection to help officers make decisions faster and more efficiently. By offering network links between stakeholders and the organization’s central database, the officer will collect current crime scenes or criminal data and make decisions based on the new information. Let’s see further how technology has made life a paradise.

What Aids in Making the Police Better?

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Police organizations are adopting new and emerging digital evidence technologies, such as body-worn cameras, artificial intelligence, and social media analytics tools as part of investigations, etc. This results in an exponential amount of growth of digital evidence collected by law enforcement.

Justice & Public Safety (JPS) organizations, largely using legacy systems for digital evidence or no digital evidence management system at all, are looking for a cost-efficient, user-friendly, and deeply secure cloud solution that will archive their digital content.

These agencies are looking for a tool that will provide easy access and analysis of the content – while maintaining its integrity and authenticity for use in a court of law when the prosecutor is presenting digital evidence to the jury.

  • Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence:

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We’re still years away from having robots serve and protect, but law enforcement agencies are already implementing artificial intelligence-based tools to help them prevent and manage crime. Many law enforcement agencies use massive databases with information about individuals and their criminal history and background; with AI, they can more easily connect disparate systems. Combined with their knowledge of investigations gained through the study of criminal justice, these new algorithms can improve investigations and help law enforcement agencies make better decisions regarding detention, prosecution, and punishment.

Streamline workflows by relieving pressures from overstretched and overworked resources. Artificial Intelligence in crime investigation is also becoming a trend. AI in criminal justice involves taking over trivial tasks such as monitoring surveillance videos so officers can spend more time on other important tasks and take action more swiftly. For example, law enforcement agencies may use AI for facial, body, and object detection, search within the video, auto tags, redaction, speech to text, etc., making workflow faster. For example, automation for real-time alerts has improved the response time for officers. AI enables officers to solve tasks more quickly and efficiently, spend less time chained to their desks and invest more time on-field operations.

  • Pre-Crime Technology:

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The best way to fight crime is to keep it from happening in the first place, and technology is at the forefront of crime prevention. Again, AI tools and predictive analytics using big data are key to making connections that can stop crime before it starts, but law enforcement uses other devices in their work.

In Chicago, police officers use a technology called ShotSpotter, which triangulates information to determine the exact location of gunshots. Combining that information with license plate detection technology makes it easier for police to manage high-crime areas and investigate shootings.

Facial recognition technology is also proving instrumental to fighting crime. Law enforcement has used facial recognition at large events, for example, to identify individuals who are wanted for crimes by comparing their faces to a database of hundreds of thousands of known offenders. And at the border, U.S. Border Patrol agents are using sensor technology to evaluate physical and psychological behaviors to determine whether individuals are likely to be entering the country for nefarious purposes.

All of these technologies are developed with the single purpose of preventing crime, and we only see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these tools.

  • Cloud-Computing:

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Innovation across all platforms is accelerating, but so is the pace of new challenges. Ever-evolving criminality accelerated demand from cybercrime, and the increasing complexity and scale of digital evidence are placing additional orders on the modern police service. Adopting cloud is an essential step in accelerating innovation and building the capabilities that policing needs to respond to the challenges posed by criminality. Being in touch with the latest digital trends will help police leaders build modern services.  

Cloud computing not only changes how so many organizations store and access data, but it is also changing how many of these agencies operate. Cloud computing is so important because it offers flexibility, data recovery, little to no maintenance, easy access, and a higher level of security. It makes it hassle-free for the police to operate and spend less time on their desk arranging data and more time on the field with easy and swift access to data.

  • Improved Officer Protection:

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Functioning in a protected environment makes your brain function faster. We’ve already seen how the implementation of body and dash cameras – has changed law enforcement. Automatically recording interactions between the police and the public has saved lives and improved outcomes, and the recordings have also reduced complaints about officer behavior.

Technology is being used in other ways to protect officers more effectively. One of the more exciting developments taking shape is the development of a sophisticated “smart belt.” Worn by officers on duty, the belt monitors the officer’s movements and position, and it automatically alerts backup or dispatch of trouble when necessary. Communication itself is also beginning to use more sophisticated systems to collect and analyze real-time information, improving the safety of officers as they respond to calls. Other tools being implemented to enhance officer safety include drones, robotic cameras, and small robots that can be used in dangerous situations; for instance, these robots can be used to surveil a hazardous scene or locate threats.

  • Security & Surveillance Upgrades:

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Property crimes continue to decrease statistically, so security and video surveillance upgrades have improved public safety dramatically. Camera technology, for example, produces modern models with higher image quality than past versions, and the size of high-quality cameras has also diminished, allowing them to be concealed for covert surveillance. Face-recognition technology is particularly rewarding, enabling law enforcement officials to pick faces from crowds literally. Instant data available for police to view and further go on with their investigation, CCTV has made it easy for police to get access and collect evidence instantly.

  • Sharing Information:

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Law enforcement agencies are spread throughout a national criminal justice system that involves regional, state, and local authorities, each administering their policing efforts independently. Too often in the past, lack of access to timely information prevented various agencies from coordinating their efforts adequately. Advances in the way agencies share information and use criminal identification systems have led to tighter connections between independent law enforcement organizations and universal enforcement standards across jurisdictions. Sharing information about offenders also has a positive preventative impact, helping keep guns out of the hand of dangerous criminals and barring offenders from certain types of employment.

  • Smart Phone Technology:

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Mobile technology furnishes an electronic trail of texts, emails, calls, and GPS location information that law enforcement uses to solve cases. Smartphones are so widespread the contact information and other data they contain give officers a starting point for their investigations, which often unfold in arrests directly related to information gleaned from mobile devices and usage. Using advanced digital forensics technology, investigators find links between suspects and their crimes, which might go unnoticed without mobile connections. In addition to investigative benefits, mobile technology speeds communication between officers, agencies, and citizens.

Here are new opportunities knocking on the law enforcement agency’s doors. Technology and demographic shifts are changing the who, what, where, and how law enforcement work.

Imagine the camaraderie between the old and new generations of law enforcement. This includes new millennial recruits that bring with them tech-savvy and critical thinking skills. This group of officers is generally described as cooperative, intelligent, and team-oriented. While millennial recruits perform technical operations on mobile devices and other gadgets via forensic tools to extract digital evidence, experienced veterans can leverage their mobile phones for analyzing and searching evidence files for faster case resolutions. All of this impacts the lives of the people they serve and protect.

Older, experienced police veterans can learn from millennial recruits and brush up on their current investigative skills.

  • Crime Mapping Technology:

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Modern computing power speeds up data analysis and enables law enforcement to track crime trends geographically. What was once accomplished through countless man-hours pouring over data is now a matter of a few mouse clicks. Crime mapping enables agencies to zero in on problem areas, stepping-up enforcement efforts, and assist in bringing in fugitives. Like highly sophisticated “pin-maps” highlighting crime location, mapping, and geographic profiling give enforcement officers clear snapshots of crime trends.

  • Social Media:

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Though it is a social trend as much as it is a technological breakthrough, social media use nonetheless furnishes law enforcement advantages for agencies that use the technology effectively. For example, criminals leave trails using social media platforms, so justice agencies turn to Facebook, Twitter, and other channels for vital clues and insight into criminal behavior. The technology also enables officers to distribute information directly to concerned citizens, informing them of unfolding crimes and dangerous developments.

Social media links law enforcement directly to the public, which is a great tool for spreading descriptions, videos, and other information about criminals. Communicating in real-time closes the crucial gap between the point at which crimes occur, and investigations begin, enabling citizens to respond with timely information.

How has DEMS Helped in Removing Doubt from Police Decision-Making?

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Technology is no doubt a blessing for all, including law enforcement. Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) has made police work more efficient, effective, swift, and effortless in many cases. Evidence management is one of law enforcement’s most critical tasks. With a fast-growing mass of digital evidence penetrating the legal space, prosecution and law enforcement agencies now face an ever-increasing challenge to store, manage and analyze an overwhelming volume of digital records, which can be addressed utilizing evidence tracking software.

Technology will never replace solid investigative work, but modern advances assist law enforcement efforts to stay ahead of criminals. Mobile technology, social media, and rapid access to information contribute to better enforcement and prevention. And crime-mapping and video surveillance breakthroughs also increase public safety, enabling justice agencies to direct resources to where they are needed most.

VIDIZMO| The Best DEMS for this JOB!

Digital evidence software for police has become essential in the advancing digital era. As we saw above, VIDIZMO provides the best solution to setting aside conventional policing methods and getting on the field to bust some criminals fast and efficiently. Way to go, VIDIZMO! This system provides the first line of defense for the chain of custody and evidence integrity. VIDIZMO is a fully secure and industry-compliant solution for law enforcement agencies. It ensures efficient, accurate collection and storage of physical and digital evidence. Further, the system solidifies chain-of-command, manages convenience copies of forms and reports, metadata analysis, and reporting. In short, VIDIZMO DEMS provides tools to help you improve your workflow for managing evidence and related assets through an easy, user-friendly process.

Recognized in IDC MarketScape*, VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) streamlines the process of securing, managing, searching, analyzing, and sharing ever-increasing digital evidence.

Adoption of digital evidence tracking software like VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) empowers law enforcement agencies with the ability to store, manage, analyze, distribute, and archive all digital evidence and data related to legal and criminal investigations, all while observing the chain of custody requirements effectively and efficiently. This enables easy automation of evidence management and bridges the gap between the agency’s workflows while consistently maintaining evidence's integrity and admissibility.

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Read More | Online Police Training Through Video

Posted by Maham Zaidi

Maham Zaidi is Technology Content Strategist at VIDIZMO which is a Gartner recognized enterprise video content management system, to stream live/on-demand media to both internal and external audiences, on-premise, Azure or AWS cloud. VIDIZMO solutions are used by enterprises, government, local, state government, healthcare, law enforcement agencies, justice, public safety, manufacturing, financial & banking industry.

Tags: Law Enforcement Today, police decision making, dems technology

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