22 Jun Four Benefits of Adding Video to Your Interoperable Communications
The 2017 Police Security Expo, hosted by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) hits Atlantic City next week, June 27 – 28. For the second year, Mutualink will join our channel partner, PMC Associates, in their booth (#511). We can’t wait! If you are new to Mutualink, please stop by PMC’s booth for a live demonstration of secure multimedia interoperability.
Now more than ever, the ability to interoperate during emergencies is critical to quickly resolving incidents with the best outcomes. If you’re looking to share information with first responders, a picture is worth a thousand words, and video is worth a hundred images. So think about these benefits when considering how you collaborate within your agency, as well as with other agencies:
Show, not Tell
Sometimes when responding to emergencies, words fail us. Sometimes we don’t know fully how to describe what we’re seeing. Words can be subjective. But live streaming video puts the person on the receiving end in the moment, in the thick of the action. They can ask questions about what they’re seeing to gain clarity, rather than interpreting someone else’s words. Video should complement, not replace, voice, to reinforce and give depth to your spoken word.
Resolve Incidents Quickly
Corollary to our first point, video conveys more in a minute than words alone can, so by sharing video from the scene of an accident, the dispatcher or emergency room personnel can engage more fully with what first responders are telling them. In addition to what they’re being told, they may see something that will aid in their evaluation of the scene or patient, and enable more appropriate action. With the proliferation of public cameras and private video management systems, as well as personal smart phones, video is more available than ever. Engaging with this video brings everyone involved in the incident closer to the problem of achieving resolution. And fuller engagement leads to faster resolution.
Leverage Existing Resources
In recent years, people increasingly turn to their mobile devices for information, which often comes in the form of video. Similarly, virtually every person today is equipped with a video camera in their smartphone – a powerful tool for communication. Surveillance video, often used for forensic reconstruction, can be shared in real time with current technology, doubling the value of the investment in cameras and video management systems. With the anticipated availability of FirstNet, the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), the sharing of video among public safety agencies will be further enhanced, with a dedicated bandwidth available to first responders. As a participant in the FirstNet Early Builder project JerseyNet, Atlantic City Police Department experienced these benefits first-hand during large events held in the city recently.
Provide Advance Situational Awareness
Advance intelligence provides not only information, but instills confidence. When first responders can recognize an environment, say an office building or school that’s reported an active shooter situation, they can better predict threats and be better oriented on arrival. Video shared from the school showing the relative position of the red hallway with respect to the blue hallway requires less thought on the part of responding officers, and enables them to visualize the needed action better than the description, “The blue hallway goes off to the left; the red hallway goes straight”. The voice description and video together provide a full picture.