Genesis project looks at data in public safety

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Often when people think of public safety, one of the farthest things from their minds is data analytics. However, today data analytics is used in a myriad of ways in Police, Corrections, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services. Public safety organizations are dependent on data to provide them with a substantial overview of operations to create efficiencies, predict responses, as well as enhance safety measures for the public and responders.

It’s an honor to be working with the Genesis Group and having the opportunity to look at how Data Analytics is impacting so many industries. The following are some examples of how the various components of public safety utilize data analytics to enhance their operational abilities:

Emergency medical services are delivered through government, private, or volunteer organizations. These services are furnished by ambulance companies, fire departments, and even some law enforcement agencies. EMS uses data analytics for logistic, clinical, and operational purposes. Smart Data and Predictive Data allow EMS responders to assess patients, create predictive response methodology, and communicate with hospitals and other health care organizations. The application of data analytics facilitates better outcomes related to patient care.

Data analytics is used within the fire service to assess operational performance, cost containment, and operational readiness. Having the ability to identify potential hazards, accessibility, and available water supplies, during a response to a call for service, is critical. In cases of emergency response, time is not a luxury fire departments can afford.

Data analytics is applied to correctional systems for two critical concerns — safety and security. Collecting information from inmates and prisoners related to behavior, criminal involvement, and affiliations with security threat groups plays a part in classifying inmates regarding the level of security and supervision needed to maintain a safe and secure environment within the corrections setting.

One of the most prominent presences of data analytics in the law enforcement community of the Mohawk Valley is the Mohawk Valley Crime Analysis Center (MVCAC). The MVCAC is a regional crime analysis center whose operations are supported by data analytics. The center is funded through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Members from various law enforcement agencies are assigned to the MVCAC and collect, interpret, maintain, and distribute various forms of data to support law enforcement organizations on local, state, and federal and tribal levels.

The MVCAC provides monthly traffic reports, weekly crime reports, gun involved violence elimination program information, prisoner release information, and law enforcement safety bulletins. These are just a few examples of the critical support that the MVCAC provides to law enforcement and the Mohawk Valley community.

The prevalence of data analytics in public safety is noticeable through the current trend of the creation and implementation of analyst jobs designated for such services. Employment in this capacity is sure to grow in volume within public safety.

The use of data analytics by public safety services provides an important foundational tool for these organizations to operate efficiently and effectively while making evidence-based decisions. Through the evolution of technology, the value of data analytics for public safety is sure to increase. The application of data analytics by public safety organizations in their day-to-day operations will likely improve the quality of services the Mohawk Valley community receives.

Rob Swenszkowski, M.S., is Assistant Sheriff, Oneida County and chairman of the Public Safety Subcommittee of The Genesis Group’s Data Analytics Task Force.

About This Project:

More than 100 Genesis Group volunteers have joined with leading area industries and enterprises to encourage the development of data analytics – making informed decisions based on the gathering and analysis of large volumes of data – in our region. The Data Analytics Task Force is comprised of six subcommittees (education, insurance, banking and finance, agri-business, public safety and healthcare).

The subcommittees are studying the rapid growth of data analysis in their fields and exploring how a cooperative effort to develop data science practitioners might help existing enterprises and community service organizations grow and expand and assist new enterprises to take root in the Mohawk Valley. We also see this effort as an opportunity to retain our brightest, talented young people and attract others to move here. Today’s report is another in a series of efforts to share that work with the community.

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