Today’s news that a company has developed an app that allows Glass owners to access a data base of faces and provides information about the identity, marital status and profession of the face holder is suggestive of a potential law enforcement use. If police had a data base of images of criminals, parolees and others they could scan that using keywords and perhaps come up with a list of suspects for a particular offense more quickly and more accurately.
Check out this social network for neighbors. Could this make the neighborhoods in your city/county safer??
Sacramento police are eager to spread the adoption of Nextdoor because they understand that neighborhoods where people communicate with one another and share an awareness of activity in the neighborhood are safer.The site is used for a variety of reasons — to advertise garage sales, for example, or spread news about things happening in the area. Neighbors also can alert each other to suspicious activity, and police can spread important information or crime prevention tips to specific neighborhoods.
Nextdoor provides an easily accessed kind of virtual neighborhood crime watch for communities. Nextdoor is actually free to cities and counties. Could your city/county use Nextdoor?
The new Hero911 app could provide law enforcement with 60 seconds earlier notification of a school shooting incident in progress and thereby save lives. While not as valuable as ShotSpotter in terms of actually pinpointing the location of the shooter the app is free and could provide the difference between life and death for certain persons in the line of fire.
Local police departments all over the US are routinely requesting cellphone information from companies in order to facilitate their investigations. Although in most cases, these requests are made through court orders or subpoenas, the information is requested in the form of a so-called “tower dump” consisting of the complete records of customer activity of a specific tower during a specific period of time.
By taking this broad approach, law enforcement is also pulling in the records of ordinary citizens whose privacy is therefore at risk. Do police departments in your county make these requests and if so what provisions are made to guard the privacy of innocent citizens?
Cell tower dumps are controversial because the data contains information on anyone’s phone used within that area and time frame.
Those of us working with the public sector hear a great deal about big data and there have been numerous entries in this blog about that topic but how can bringing together the different kinds of big data that government entities like states, cities or counties have disbursed in different silos help government in general become more efficient and serve citizens better? According to Katharine Frase, IBM public-sector vice president and CTO,the answer is analytics. Ms. Frase made the following comment in an interview with GovTech “So when people talk about analytics, they are talking about analyzing multiple forms of data to be able to predict what will happen and to prescribe the best response. “At the end of the day,” she said, “it’s humans in the city that actually take action, so how do you engage them in that activity?”
So the issue of analytics comes down to discovering repositories of data held in different parts of government, combining that data in meaningful and hopefully predictive ways and then using the results to direct government resources more effectively and motivate citizens to adopt better, more socially responsible behavior. Does your city, county, have data caches that could be fruitfully combined? Could the proper application of analytics help to deploy scarce resources more effectively? These are the very questions that local governments all over the world are starting to ask.
Ideation Nation s a national competition designed to provide a forum for ideas to improve local communities using technology. The competition, sponsored by Code for America and MindMixer — announced its top 25 project ideas this month. The top 25 ideas include IT-based solutions focused on promoting civic engagement, providing for better response to citizen needs and complaints and fostering safer and more widespread use of bikes in the urban environment.
Oakland’s failure so far to deploy a public safety dashboard in the face of major budget cuts is an object lesson in the need to appoint a single manager for any major technology project and the absolute necessity for support from the political leadership that is consistent and unwavering.