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Ready or Not: The Challenges of Adopting Technology

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By Leischen Stelter, editor of In Public Safety

The speed at which technology has advanced in recent years is mind blowing. Today, many of us wonder how we ever lived without our devices, even though it wasn’t that long ago we all depended on landlines, paper maps, and encyclopedias. The current generation of children will grow up having instant access to the vast majority of information in the world, which is truly amazing, but also overwhelming.

Mobile device for policeMany public safety agencies struggle to understand available technology and how it can benefit their mission. For example, many agencies have leapt into the world of social media in order to communicate with those they serve. Other agencies evaluate how evolving technology like unmanned aerial systems (AKA drones) can help them be more effective, whether it’s safely evaluating a crime scene or helping fight wildfires.

The bottom line is that technology is not going away and agencies cannot ignore it. Leaders and administrators must seek to understand how technology works, how it can be applied, and, most importantly, how it can help further their mission of protecting and serving the public.

However, technology brings many uncertainties and risks and public safety agencies must be diligent about understanding the challenges associated with technology. Public safety leaders must:

  • Ensure adequate protection of data systems
  • Enhance training of personnel on proper use of the device or system
  • Develop policies to protect the agency or employees against legal action

Understanding the Impacts of Technology
In the month of July, In Public Safety will feature articles written by American Military University faculty members about the benefits and challenges of technology in public safety agencies. These faculty members are not only academics, researching and teaching such topics, but also current or former practitioners, who understand what it takes to apply such knowledge to the real world.

As articles are posted to In Public Safety, they will be compiled below for easy navigation by profession. Thanks for reading!

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