More to smart public safety than meets the eye
As we mentioned earlier, public safety may be one of the more visible and best understood of city responsibilities. But many may not realize how the benefits stack up when cities make it smarter. Here are some highlights that align with our livability, workability and sustainability goals.
Reducing response times. Citywide public safety situational awareness provides emergency managers and other public safety personnel with an immediate and real-time understanding of incidents, allowing them to respond more quickly.
Making more arrests. Police and investigator outcomes in criminal cases are improved through access to data. Analysis of the universe of relevant public safety data can unearth links between suspects, crimes and other incidents that result in higher case closure rates – meaning fewer criminals on the street.
Lowering crime rates with more resolution and more prevention. Smart public safety lowers crime rates in two ways. First, it empowers police to realize better outcomes, with more cases solved and more arrests made. Second, through analytics it allows for the identification and prevention of threats before they cause harm.
Making people ‘feel’ safer and mitigating pain and suffering. There is an intangible but very real value to the feeling of safety in a community – when people feel safer, their lives seem more livable. Through improved outcomes, smart public safety also delivers a freedom from the pain and suffering that crime and other incidents cause to citizens.
Attracting business and talent. Lower crime rates and resiliency to natural disasters like fires and floods aid cities in the competition for businesses and jobs, and they help ensure that once businesses do locate in a city, they can operate safely.
Mitigating reduced earnings and lost productivity. Crime and disaster can result in injuries to employees and damage to business infrastructure. Improved public safety means that not only do smart cities become more attractive to business, but businesses that operate in smart cities are able to do so more securely and with fewer safety-associated costs and risks.
Ensuring fewer business resources go to crime prevention. Crime forces businesses to spend more money than they otherwise would to pay for security and insurance. When crime rates are lowered through smart public safety, businesses win.
Creating operational savings and enabling better resource deployment. To put it simply, smart public safety agencies cost less. In one estimate, a hypothetical public safety agency with $350 million in operating costs can save up to $60 million annually through smart technologies and best practices. Savings rise to $200 million when society, other agencies and victim costs are considered.
Avoiding criminal justice and correction costs through crime prevention. Unleashing analytics on an integrated public safety information database increases cities’ crime prevention capabilities. When prevention efforts are empowered, cities spend less on prosecuting and jailing criminals.
Creating higher property values and increasing tax revenue. As neighborhoods across cities become safer, property values rise and increase the prosperity of their residents. This in turn expands the tax base for smart cities’ governments.