LEAPS Tech Forum Sets Stage for Innovation

The rapid development of artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, advanced analytics and related technologies has spurred innovation in a broad range of solutions touching on every aspect of the Law Enforcement and Public Safety (LEAPS) community.

AFCEA Bethesda’s annual LEAPS Technology Forum is shaped by the vision of a LEAPS community that is vast and diverse and yet drawn together by a common interest in leveraging technology to ensure a secure, safe and resilient homeland.

The theme of this year’s event, being held May 14 and 15 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., is “Reimagine: The Intersection of Technology and Modernization.”

With IT, it’s always a case of reimagining. Each advance in technology requires agencies to reexamine how work gets done—and to rethink their assumptions about the capabilities and limits of technology.

This year’s event definitely comes with a sense of new possibilities. The goal of the LEAPS Technology Forum, now in its eleventh year, is to bring together stakeholders from across that community to think about how new and emerging technologies and strategies might help them address their most pressing challenges.

The range of stakeholders involved can be seen in the first two sessions of this year’s event, behind Between the evening program on May 14 and the opening panel the next morning, the following agencies are represented: Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Justice, the Maryland National Guard, the FBI, Office of Management and Budget, the Chicago Police Department, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Marshals.

The event also features keynote presentations by Paul Abbate, Associate Deputy Director of the FBI, and William Bratton, former Police Commissioner of the City of New York and former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The agenda is designed to create opportunities for these and other stakeholders to debate hot topics, exchange ideas and collaborate on solutions—to provide a venue in which new things can happen.

With the plenary panels and keynotes setting the stage, the work moves to the breakout sessions. This year’s forum features three tracks: Workforce, Transformation and Innovation, and Information Sharing. Here is an overview of some of the topics to be discussed:

  • Strengthening America’s Backbone: Harnessing the Workforce as an Asset
    • Technology makes a difference in LEAPS only to the extent that it is created, managed and operated by people. To realize the full potential of these emerging technologies, we need to think in new ways about how we recruit, train and retain our employees.
  • Big Impacts without Big Budgets
    • This session will explore how agencies and industry partners can engage in innovation efforts that are geared toward meeting the demands of next-generation first responders, with a focus on how emerging technologies through innovative funding mechanisms can help expand the mission itself.
  • Connecting the Data: Delivering Value from the C-Suite to the Street
    • What is the state of information sharing among federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement organizations? Feedback gathered from the field has been summarized as a starting point for this session, which will discuss ideas for driving improvements.
    • The LEAPS Technology Forum, with its broad range of participants and interactive format, is the only event of its kind in the community. Don’t miss this opportunity to join the conversation and reimagine the future of law enforcement and public safety.


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