Citizens and Security Officials Unite To Take Action

EBOOK_COVER_CITIZENS_1.jpgThe tragic events that took place in Brussels this week are examples of how important security and information gathering have become in the effort to keep our citizens safe at home and abroad. 

These senseless acts of violence are carried out with little warning, in large public places, against “soft targets,” unsuspecting individuals and families simply going about their daily routines.

Tragic does not even begin to describe these types of events.  The reality is that with every occurrence people feel more afraid, vulnerable and powerless.  As a result, the pressure on those that are tasked with keeping citizens safe and community systems operational is increased.

We often hear how today’s technology is contributing to the problem.  Whether it’s the recruiting practices of these terrorist groups on social media, training videos being broadcast across the Internet or arms sales and exchanges on the "dark web," technology can play a nefarious role in events like the Brussels bombings.

However, that is not the only role that today’s technology plays. Today’s technology also plays a critical role in helping communities defend against these acts of terror.  With the proliferation of smartphones and mobile applications, every citizen, armed with the right tools and trained in the right procedures, can play a role in combatting crime in their communities. Citizens can be empowered, often anonymously, to serve as an extension of public safety forces to report back to authorities on things they see and hear. 

Citizens being able to engage anonymously in simple-to-use security-enhancing technology from their smartphones—with the ability to add photos and videos—can help make the change toward a society that dares to care.

And should an event like what took place in Brussels happen, this same technology can help security personnel collect valuable intelligence from the public in real time to help address the needs of the community, identify those responsible and respond quickly to contain the situation. 

Being able to connect citizens at the scene with security forces and emergency personnel provides greater situational awareness, allowing faster and more efficient response by public safety officials.

With today’s technology security officials can connect all critical infrastructure systems of a city together under a single unified view.  For example, solutions such as those from Verint are helping officials connect all airport, train and bus transportation stations, stadiums and surrounding public location systems with police and emergency dispatch operations under one command and control center. 

All of this, combined with the ability to engage with citizens in real time to gather and distribute information, makes for a powerful tool to help combat violent crime, empower citizens and proactively respond to the needs of the public.

Unfortunately, Brussels will likely not be the last of these terrible events we’ll see. However,  through technology advancements and greater collaboration between citizens, public safety officials and private enterprise, we can take steps to defend our communities against those that wish to do us harm.

To learn more about connecting citizens, public safety officials and private enterprises to enhance security measures, download Verint’s latest eBook.

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