author Marlee Hirson, Wednesday March 16, 2016

Motorola Solutions published a white paper based on their Intelligence-Led Public Safety Survey that discusses the needs and challenges of implementing safety technology. The survey revealed insights that are especially relevant to mobile safety apps particularly that a large concern around safety technology is how the community feels about using it, and if they feel like they can rely on the solutions. Community confidence is the name of the game.

A Community's Top Concern

The first survey insight was that “Improving Community Confidence Has Become a Top Concern”. Survey responders reported that improving community confidence and support was the highest technology-related priority; reducing violent crime and improved response rates followed.

This came as a surprise to us. While not as tangible as response times or crime rates, the community was most interested in confidence building technologies. Considering this insight, we feel that simply having mobile safety app is an obvious step in building that confidence. It demonstrates that your security/police force is innovative in looking for new ways to provide safety redundancy.

Understanding Community Confidence

But what does community confidence really mean when it comes to safety technology? We think it has to do with comfort; individuals are comfortable relying on their community’s safety personnel, their systems and technology. For an individual to trust their safety technology, there needs to be visibility of the technology and how they use the tools and features; A safety app inherently accomplishes this.

The whitepaper also states that community confidence is fostered when data collected by safety officials allows them to make better decisions. Having the data accessible to users enables communities to discuss areas of concern, such as a crime heavy area.

Using Data to Build Community Confidence

Safety apps collect data, such as the amount of times a safe walk home is requested, incident reports, and crime data specific to regions is displayed. For instance, the interactive crime map lets users see where recent crimes have been reported in the area with incident reports, which are updated in real-time. These features contribute to community confidence because users are better informed and aware of crime happening in their area.

When users feel like they have the information they need to make better decisions about their safety, such as certain streets to avoid at night, they’ll have more confidence in their community’s safety solution.

Encouraging Proactive Safety

Community confidence in safety technology is pushed further when users are encouraged to take action themselves. Looking at mobile safety apps, the app allows users to report crimes through picture/text messaging and instant messaging “chat with dispatch”. If a user sees any sort of suspicious activity or alarming behaviour, they have multiple ways of getting the information out to safety authorities.

With this in mind, educating your institution or community about all the capabilities of their mobile safety app will give users a sense of understanding of how they can fully utilize the technology. This continues to build community confidence in the technology.

Building Community Confidence Through Mobile Safety Apps

Motorola’s public safety survey highlighted an important piece around implementing safety technology. By showing users the data collected and allowing them to report incidences themselves through mobile app technology, communities will have more confidence in their safety technology.

Do you see community confidence as a top concern for your institution or organization? What are other ways to improve community confidence. Comment below and let us know what you think!