A vision of safer cities that includes connected police officers, realtime crime centres, next generation patrol vehicles and an integrated communications centre was unveiled in Johannesburg today by Motorola Solutions.

The company launched an array of high-tech public safety solutions that include integrated command and control systems that allow law enforcement agencies to forecast better and deal with situations more quickly and effectively; video surveillance systems that share information with the relevant people in real time; and automatic license plate recognition systems that alert officers when a match occurs on the system.

Vikela Rankin, MD of Motorola Solutions South Africa, says that today’s public safety and enterprise professionals need communication solutions that help translate information from multiple sources into intelligence, thus ensuring safer cities. However, technology investments in public safety today must be long-lasting, integrated and easy to deploy and use.

“It’s all about sharing information with those who need it the most, when they need it the most,” says Vikela. “There’s a huge amount of information flowing between citizens, responders, and agencies. By turning noise into information, information into intelligence, and intelligence into safety, public safety agencies can do the absolute most with less – building safer cities in the process.”

Boaz Or-Shraga, SSA sales director for Motorola Solutions, adds that new technologies revolutionise the ways surveillance video from the field is used.

“Currently 99% of all recorded surveillance video are not being used at realtime or are not being used at all; these technologies transform videos to valuable assets for qualitative and accurate decision making,” he says.

Peter Goulding, a public safety specialist at Motorola Solutions, explains that data is the key factor for improving public safety – and using it smartly is a crucial factor for Safer Cities.

“Our new communications and data technologies provide real time data from the field, sophisticated intelligence tools for processing it, sharing the information and assigning missions in the fastest forms. The improved decision making has a direct effect on the efficiency of public safety units and the security of the population.”

IDC analyst Mark Walker puts public safety into perspective, pointing out that 4,4-billion people a year are affected by disasters around the world. Of these, 1,3-million lose their lives.

In South Africa, 157 000 people are employed in the security industry, with three policemen for every 1 000 people.

The country also spends a huge amount on safety and security, Walker says, with 13,4% of the budget – about R154-billion – going to public safety and defence. And this amount grew by 8% over last year’s spend.

Among the products launched today is Motorola’s MotoCloc Command & Control solution, helps officers approach an incident armed with more operational intelligence. The solution provides public safety with a first-of-its-kind, view that integrates multiple disparate systems into a unified operational workflow.

In Johannesburg, the full solution will demonstrate better situational awareness, which allows for more proactive responses resulting in smarter and safer decisions:

* Establish direct communications with first responders by using the integrated Voice Console to share relevant information quickly over a voice channel;
* Enable collaboration between different agencies by connecting disparate voice systems;
* Pull relevant information such as dispatcher notes, person, place or asset information and snapshots to enhance decision-making;
* Access relevant event information from sensors placed in the community such as Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR), gunshot detection or alarm systems; and
* Link video from a Video Surveillance System directly into the Command and Control Video module where a detective or video analyst can remotely the feed and dispatch resources when required. Streaming video can be shared between communications centres and responders with Real-Time Video Intelligence.

Motorola’s Connected Law Enforcement Officer technologies help officers increase efficiency by completing tasks from the field and stay safe with mission-critical voice and data, updated threat warnings and automatic health and status monitoring. Motorola’s Connected Patrol Vehicle solutions and technologies act as a virtual partner for law enforcement officials in the field.

Officers can be ready for what’s next by utilising the information generated by multiple technologies and solutions working together to increase situational awareness including:

* The integrated video synopsis system that allows users rapid review and debriefing of recorded surveillance video to quickly locate and investigate any event.
* The integrated video analytics system that performs realtime analysis of the video stream to identify and generate alerts for a variety of user-defined events relating to people, vehicles and static objects. This enables automatic detections, alerts and responses to events, as they emerge.
* These are supported by a range of portable and mobile radios and mobile computing devices (including the APX 7500, MTP3000, MTM3000, MTM5500 and SL4000). The Android-powered LEX 700 Mission-Critical Handheld is the first purpose-built smart phone device for Public Safety LTE broadband and is designed to deliver multimedia data, photos, video and voice.
* The MVX1000is a rugged, in-car state-of-the-art digital video recording system that can include up to four video and audio sources to capture critical incident data.

Motorola also offers professional services for pre-sales and post-sales implementation.