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How Cloud Can Restore Trust between Police and their Communities

On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the Task Force on 21rst Century Policing. Created in response to the tragic incidents in Ferguson, Missouri and other inner cities’ throughout America, the Task Force was tasked with evaluating innovative solutions to community policing and broader community engagement. The final report of the Task Force was issued in May, and unsurprisingly focused in many respects upon the transformative role of cloud technology in improving police/community relationships.

The Final Report noted that even in those instances where police embrace new technologies, such as the cloud, there are many obstacles they must overcome. One solution recommended by the Task Force was to create the Police Data Initiative (PDI) with representatives of local law enforcement throughout the country.

The Police Data Initiative recognizes that law enforcement officers throughout the country must rapidly adopt IT strategies that maximize the exploding range of law enforcement data, such as gunshot sensors, surveillance video, social media, and body cameras. These new sources will generate petabytes of raw data- unstructured and useless without heavy IT resourcing to manage it. The potential of this new data would truly be transformative, and can help agencies put officers in a position to more quickly and effectively prevent — or at least effectively respond to — criminal activities. It would allow predictive policing, trends and data-driven community policing responses, without the use of controversial “stop and frisk” policing that have created so much controversy within inner city communities. Only cloud can support the agility and workloads necessary to accomplish these objectives.

Luckily, the cloud community is already heavily engaged in providing these critical facilities. The security controls governing Criminal JusticeInformation (CJI), which have been developed and enforced by the FBI have already been adopted by such CJI-qualified vendors as Amazon Cloud Services. AWS has been active in providing key resources and capabilities to their law enforcement customers. Cloud providers such as AWS will become increasingly critical tom effective community policing efforts in the 21rst Century.

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