Imagine having an interactive neighborhood map and video footage from surrounding security cameras every time a 911 call comes into your police department. In August 2012, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) formed a partnership with Microsoft to make this scenario a reality.

NYPD and Microsoft’s Collaboration Has Provided the Agency a New Capability

With its own Domain Awareness System (Microsoft Aware), the Department is now able to grant access to select law enforcement agencies to its vast database of 911 calls, license plate readers, security cameras and more. This partnership allows the NYPD to work closely with Lower Manhattan Communication Center (LMCC) stakeholder corporations to promote public safety in what is perhaps the busiest and potentially most targeted urban center in the world.

A Recent – and Timely – Innovation

None of this could have happened before giant data centers and cloud-based storage became available and reasonably priced. But now information-sharing systems can be scaled to work not only for huge metropolitan areas, but also for metropolitan communities and industrial centers throughout the U.S. where law enforcement and private sector organizations coordinate their resources and information.

  • The NYPD Model: For instance, NYPD’s (LMCC), part of the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative  isn’t covering the entire city, but it is a networked information-sharing project designed to detect threats and perform pre-operational terrorist surveillance south of Canal Street. Staffed 24/7 by NYPD officers, it serves as the central intake facility for all information gathered by human and technology sensors in downtown Manhattan.
  • An Exchange of Value: In exchange for sharing their “sensor data” such as CCTV with the city, some corporate security directors have been offered a seat at the LMCC table, if you will. Through its networked systems, NYPD aggregates and processes private and public sensor data (e.g., cameras, license plate readers, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) and tactical system data (e.g., 911, dispatch). The Department stores the information and, more importantly, transmits appropriate and relevant information immediately to LMCC stakeholders whenever doing so protects the city and its people, business and infrastructure.  It’s truly a collaborative, real-time partnership.


What’s Ahead? Corporate Applications

As independent advisors to both government and private sector agencies, we see great value in solutions such as this one – from Microsoft, Cisco or any other leading technology innovators. In addition to the many federal, state and local agencies that would benefit from it, we also forecast rapidly growing demand across the corporate security function – both here in the United States and globally – for an advanced enterprise solution with comparable capabilities.

Command center personnel are able to search, alert and notify in real-time – and provide actionable communications to multiple stakeholders both inside and outside a corporation. Creating actionable communication from thousands of data points will allow security directors to make the most of limited resources, gain unprecedented awareness of threats and problems, and respond promptly.

What do you see from your perspective? Where do you believe technology will play the strongest role in advancing law enforcement priorities – or corporate security objectives – over the next six months?  How about over the next three years?