(Please note: Information provided in this blog are the expressed opinions of Merit Technologies and are not necessarily reflective of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.)
There’s a term for the multitude of devices that connect to the Internet on our behalf: Internet of Things (IoT) goes beyond the traditional server, laptops, and cell phones. IoT includes any other devices like TV’s, refrigerators, thermostats, IP Cameras, and more.
I recently attended a discussion on “Harnessing Technology to create a Safer Community” presented by Sheriff Will Lewis with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. I was impressed by his ability to understand technology, share his vision, and demonstrate the value of using connected IoT devices. So how can IoT devices change law enforcement?
According to Sheriff Lewis, Greenville County officers are getting modernized equipment like the Xplore tablets that have multi-function use. The technology can reduce paperwork by allowing E-signatures, thus reducing paper products, the need for storage, and saving time. This tablet will give the officer vital information about people from dispatch as well as a split screen to give navigation directions simultaneously. On scene, the officer can use the same device to record testimony immediately following incidents. Officers will be getting upgraded body cameras, which show stronger evidence to back testimony in a court of law. There’s hope that these devices will reduce case loads and costs.
Other IoT devices that could come our way are license plates readers. If law enforcement is looking for a vehicle or a vehicle gets stolen, the officers will know instantly when it passes a sensor. There are others items like 3D crime scene mapping that allow new perspectives when recreating significant events, and drug testing devices that operate without having to open or touch narcotics. The devices not only benefit officers, but the entire community.
IoT devices are already smart by themselves, but when you start to connect them together for real time information the possibilities are limitless. We could one day have alerts on stolen vehicles automatically relayed to the closest officer, in-field facial recognition software, and more.
Cloud computing will definitely play an important role in many things that we do with IoT device data, and clouds like Microsoft Azure & AWS are FEDramp compliant. FEDramp is the Risk and Authorization Management Program which U.S. Federal appendices use to ensure security is in place when accessing cloud computing products and services. Ultimately, IoT devices connected to cloud computing could save time and help our officers in their mission to make our communities safer.