Innovation and Collaboration: Essential for Success in 2022

Jan. 27, 2022
By turning to tools that allow for collaboration and spur innovation, public safety officials can address new and old challenges, be prepared to respond to changing threats, and most importantly, continue to serve and protect their communities.

By Todd Miller, SVP of Strategic Programs, Rave Mobile Safety

It is hard to imagine that almost a year ago, the whole world seemed to breathe a sigh of relief as we all anticipated life getting back to normal. And while normal seemed attainable for a moment, it also came with the realization that old challenges would once again return—as proven by acts of violence in workplaces, schools, shopping centers and other locations that continue to make headlines.

With these threats and acts of violence top of mind for public safety and law enforcement, agencies must put the plans, technologies and processes in place to better manage these incidents in 2022. Public safety professionals must be innovative and explore new opportunities to better serve their respective communities in ways that are constructive and beneficial to everyone. Staying adaptable and responsive no matter what curveball comes next will continue to be critical in the new year.

Here are a few trends and best practices for law enforcement to be aware of in 2022.

Mental health will still be at the forefront

As we’ve seen over the past year, first responder agencies continue to look for better methods of response to those experiencing a mental health crisis. With Congress mandating the creation of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, coming in July of 2022, the topic has obviously reached national importance.

The new 9-8-8 number will consist of an easily accessible national network of state-funded crisis centers that will help people experiencing mental health, substance use and suicidal crises by connecting them with compassionate support and treatment services. The new number is expected to see high levels of calls stemming from mental health emergencies brought on by the pandemic and will also provide response from mental health professionals and mobile response teams to help individuals in crisis and connect them to services for follow-up care.

While this national initiative is a step in the right direction, public safety leaders must continue to re-evaluate how they respond to mental health crises—whether that be through increased training, partnering with local mental health professionals, or implementing new technology that allows first responders to know if a person has a history of mental health emergencies so they can be better prepared to respond to a call. We’ll also see the need for 9-8-8 and 9-1-1 to exchange data and communications to facilitate responses. 

By considering these types of alternative responses, public safety leaders will innovate response and processes, allowing them to better serve residents and create positive outcomes for everyone. 

Acts of violence will unfortunately still be all too common

As people started to return to schools, workplaces, shopping centers, places of worship and more, so too has there been a return of acts of violence. As school and workplace shootings unfortunately rear their ugly head once again, law enforcement should prepare to continue to strategically respond to these types of incidents in 2022.

However, police and other officials must acknowledge that acts of violence in schools, houses of worship, and workplaces are not limited to just mass shootings, but can include verbal abuse, sexual harassment and bullying. It’s likely these minor incidents will continue to increase as well, and law enforcement must be ready to collaborate with private security, administrators or other stakeholders in the organizations to address any physical or mental abuse taking place to keep workers, students and others safe.

Technologies that enable interoperability and data-sharing will become standard

Key to this collaboration will be technology and tools that allow for 9-1-1, law enforcement, and other agencies to more easily share data with an expanding list of stakeholders engaged in our emergency responses. By turning to technologies that enable easy collaboration with social services, healthcare systems, schools and other organizations, law enforcement can ensure they are addressing emergencies in the most complete and comprehensive manner.

In 2022, more law enforcement agencies will start to adopt more technologies that increase interoperability and information sharing to improve the effectiveness and collaboration across response teams. However, these teams will have to work together to ensure successful deployment and adoption of these tools—only then will agencies be able to enable the authorized sharing of data, interoperability between CAD and third-party systems and new best practices for using these resources effectively to improve outcomes.

With mental health crises on the rise, a seemingly never-ending pandemic and the ever-present threat of violence, law enforcement has a number of challenges and opportunities in 2022. By turning to tools that allow for collaboration and spur innovation, public safety officials can address new and old challenges, be prepared to respond to changing threats, and most importantly, continue to serve and protect their communities. 

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