Caliber Public Safety is no stranger to “the cloud.” Highly secure cloud technology allows our Records Management System, Online RMS, to get the right information into the hands of front-line officers at the right time. The web-based RMS deploys quickly and delivers unrivaled data-sharing and instant compliance with State and Federal NIBRS. It is relied on by thousands of public safety and security personnel, representing just one aspect of how Caliber leverages “the cloud” to accomplish its goal of supporting the community in general and public safety personnel specifically. What are the implications of cloud computing for public safety in general, though? Laura Neitzel, writing for Police1, authored an interesting piece on this topic recently.

“If you’ve ever backed up your photos and videos on your personal phone, uploaded family photos to a sharing site, checked your bank balance from your mobile device, or used a navigational app to find the quickest route to your destination,” she writes, “you were using the cloud. But when it comes to using the cloud in professional settings like law enforcement, cops are more skeptical. They want to know: Will it help me do my job better, keep me safer, and save me time and money? Is it reliable, secure, and CJIS-compliant?”

These are good questions. Caliber is able to answer that question with a resounding “Yes,” because our cloud software not only supports first response personnel, but is fully compliant with all relevant legal and traceability requirements. Neitzel goes on to write that many officers use applications for computer-aided dispatch, records management, and data analytics. This enables those officers to upload and store large quantities of data, access records from multiple databases quickly and securely, deploy and track emergency response, and create and submit reports. All this is done while providing increased situational awareness, arming responding officers with better context, alerts, and mission-critical information provided by databases linked to dispatch and support software.

“These capabilities, supported on CJIS-secure solutions,” writes Neitzel, “are convincing many law enforcement agencies to migrate data and software to the cloud for part, if not all, of their computing needs. But when it comes to the daunting task of moving data storage and software from on-premises equipment to a new model in the digital ether, some agencies are reluctant to make the switch.”

She goes on to argue for cloud computing as more financially cost effective while logistically easier to support. “Cloud computing,” she adds, “coupled with applications and solutions that automate data processing, can alleviate some of the time-consuming and tedious manual tasks. By narrowing the data set to just tens of potential suspects instead of thousands, investigators can spend their time getting out into the field where true police work happens.”

These are compelling arguments. There are others. Caliber takes the guesswork out of making these calls by providing municipalities and agencies with fully supported software solutions that leverage “the cloud” where needed and appropriate. No single technology is a panacea, solving all problems at once, but cloud technology is a robust and versatile solution that remains a powerful and promising trend in public safety software.