With City dollars tighter than ever, we’ve got to be smarter than ever in everything we do, especially when it comes to something as important as keeping people safe (which is a big part of what do).
City revenue challenges have caused us to cut millions from our budgets over the last 5 years but we’ve held true to a core belief that those cuts can not be made at the expense of public safety. That’s easier said than done, and that’s why working smarter is so important.
The good news is that thanks to the internet there’s more information than ever before about the latest and greatest technology and techniques in crime prevention and response so we don’t have to spend so much money to learn what works; instead we can learn for free from others who already paid for it. That’s what best practices are all about.
The trouble is, sometimes with so much out there, it’s like trying to get a drink from a fire hose.
The challenge of data management is like riding the wave of a tsunami. Do it right and it’s got major upsides, but it doesn’t take much to get overwhelmed and get lost at sea.
Search engines can locate a lot of data but looking through 13,214 pages can be tough unless you’ve got endless hours and energy — both of which are in short supply these days as everyone’s carrying a heavier load and pulling double duty. Fortunately, there are a growing number of web services (often affiliated with government associations) that do the looking for you and we use those sources a lot more than you might think.
We like to be on the leading edge of public services — not necessarily the bleeding edge — so we’re always scanning to see who’s come up with an innovation in our respective fields; we see how much it costs and we look at the results. From there, we can decide if we want to pull the trigger and be an early adopter.
Admittedly, money to invest in something in new is not always readily available so our spirit of early adoption is often tempered by the practical realities of our City finances, but we’re a persistent bunch and we often find creative ways to be cheap early adopters.
Here’s a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice announcing their new web-based service (crimesolutions.gov) for identifying and sharing best practices in crime prevention and response: