Cisco recently shared a report about the Kent Police Department in the United Kingdom. The case study shows the power and importance of improved communication for police departments, and highlights the benefits of improved communication initiatives.
The case study was interesting to read through, and to consider some lessons learned that we could apply here in the United States. To provide some context to the case study, Kent Police protects nearly 42 million visitors per year, has over 6,000 police offers, and is responsible for the safety and security of 1,400 square miles and 1.6 million citizens. Kent is also the county that monitors the Channel Tunnel, so there are significant pressures on the department to provide antiterrorist and illegal immigration security.
The case study identifies, “Kent Police is also subject to the government’s Best Value initiative which demands that pubic organizations deliver value for money to the community and more efficient ways of operating. The organization is rigorously measured against this and other performance targets not just for reducing burglary, vehicle and drug-related crime and traffic accidents, but also for improving communication and interaction with the community.”
With so many different departments, agencies and citizens to communicate with, the case study cites that the telephone is still the primary tool for communication, “With such reliance on telephone-based communication, it is essential that police officers and civilian staff working in the region’s 16 main police stations, plus more than 50 local offices and specialist departments across the county have access to a reliable and cost-effective system.”
Reading through the case study, there were three lessons learned from the report that I have identified.
3 Benefits from Improved Communication at Kent Police
1 – Cut Costs at Department
By implementing a new communications strategy, the agency was able to cut costs annually by 30 percent. Technology can be a resource for cost savings, long term and short term – everything from cloud, big data, data center consolidation, there are options to improve.
After implementing a Cisco solution to improve communications, the department has already had great success, witnessing an annual cost savings in excess of 30 percent. The services have also lead to improved communications at the department, and the ability to share information in real-time. Andy Barker, Head of Information Systems Department, states, “Our Cisco IP infrastructure will allow us to police Kent more efficiently and effectively as we prepare for the future,” says Barker. “It means the money we save by streamlining operations can be put towards increasing local policing presence to ensure the county remains one of the safest in the country,” stated Andy Barker, Head of the Information Systems Department, Kent Police.
2 – Improved Citizen Engagement
Improving the communication planned facilitated improved interaction with community members, something that is critical with police departments. In an age where social media, analytics and emerging communications strategies dominate the police landscape, it is important not to forget the importance of traditional communication methods.
3 – Real Time Information
Improved communications leads to improved information sharing, and a more responsive police department. Sharing real time information to make decisions is critical to the safety and protection of citizens.
Kent Police is doing some really interesting work, and by improving their communication structure, are able to protect citizens more effectively.
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