Major cities and towns around the globe are increasingly becoming targets for a wide range of threats, ranging from terrorism, violent crime to natural disasters and other emergencies. In fact, the number of worldwide terrorist attacks has more than quadrupled in the decade since 9/11 (2001), according to a newly-released study. In addition, with rising GDP comes an increase in urbanization, leading to a further growth in threat level. Which brings us to the question – how can city authorities protect their citizens and ensure quick and effective responses to potential threats and criminal acts?
To ensure enhanced security in our cities without straining city budgets, I suggest the optimized use of security technologies, by creating an integrated security system with centralized information. An integrated public security system should ideally encompass three main elements – Monitoring, Communication and Mobility solutions. These aspects are linked together by the fourth element - a Command and Control Center Solution (PSIM) to mitigate risk across the city environment by providing actionable intelligence and enabling speedy security incident resolution (see figure 1 below).
How will the various stakeholders benefit from an integrated city security system? By integrating various security technologies, the authorities gain a more complete picture of threats and/or breaches in security, accidents and disturbances, in turn facilitating quick responses. In addition, individual stakeholders will benefit in the following ways:
- Enhanced global reputation about the government’s ability to promote safety and security in the state
- Improved efficiency
- Increased faith in the government with regard to safety and security aspects
- Enhanced public goodwill
Center Command Control & other concerned departments:
- Complete real-time information and monitoring on activities/events in different city areas
- Instant exchange of intelligence reports between the city surveillance centers and command & control centers, and with citizens
- Integration with the national database for effective decision support
- Improved ability to control traffic, rescue operations, first aid, etc.
- Minimal public distress
- Creation of more jobs and improved prosperity
- Fewer upheavals die to dissemination of correct information
- Improved ability to attract investments, creating a viable investment environment
- Reduced possibility of damage to infrastructure and property, leads to greater profitability
Public security is not a modern phenomenon, yet the complexity and volume of threats that the modern city faces today has necessitated the need for new capabilities and technologies. An integrated platform where multiple, disparate stakeholders and security system work in tandem to provide a seamless surveillance of the city to the government authorities can vastly improve not only the safety of a city, but also its image in the minds of the public.