A city is an entity that is a collection of services and facilities—spanning public administration, the private sector, mobility and urban transportation, the financial sector, healthcare, city services, and energy generation. Technology will continue to play a vital role in the transformation of today’s cities. The vision for the safe, integrated city of tomorrow is focused on securing people, property, and processes.
Providing a high level of safety and security for the public, especially in known “hot spots” of criminal activity and gathering places such as busy downtown centers, parks, or event venues, is a commitment that every mayor makes upon election. It is critical that city management and first responders develop a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for citywide emergency preparedness and have a plan in place to immediately verify threats and respond accordingly.
Protecting key resources and critical infrastructure in and around the city is also imperative, starting with an early warning of a security breach along with a solid methodology to verify the threat and respond immediately by taking the appropriate counter measures. These city resources and critical infrastructure are vulnerable to damage or acts of terrorism and need to be secure at all times.
Responding with effective crisis management is critical for an integrated city. An efficient escalation process to address crisis management allows you to make more informed decisions during an emergency operation for seamless coordination between agencies. Effective and efficient processes that help ensure the safety and security of the city and public are essential.
Integrated safe city
In U.S. cities today, there are multiple security systems in place—video surveillance, access control, gunshot detection, alarm monitoring, and dispatch systems. These systems are often standalone and provide limited situational awareness. An integrated solution can improve overall situational awareness, streamline operations, and facilitate a quick response for enhanced public safety throughout the city.
A comprehensive methodology can be applied to detect threats with risk analysis and scenario planning, prevent breaches in security using intelligent devices, respond quickly and appropriately to a crisis, and recover from the event through performing a “post-mortem” or “lessons learned” by city management and first responders (Figure 1). This type of approach facilitates an appropriate, effective response by consistently applying your customized policies, conforming to pre-determined security procedures, and defining appropriate actions for managing daily routines and time-critical processes as well as countermeasures for crisis or emergency situations.
Command and Control Center for a city
At the hub of a safe, integrated city is the Command and Control Center, which monitors and controls the day-to-day operation of all systems citywide. The Command and Control Center ties together systems implemented throughout the city including fire, security, and communication sub-systems into a single, integrated system to provide enhanced situational awareness, streamlined operations, and faster response and coordination of law enforcement and public safety officials. In addition, the city’s security policies and procedures can be integrated into the system for a customized, effective response to any situation. Fundamentally, a city’s Command and Control Center should define appropriate actions and counter measures for a multitude of tasks, from managing daily routines to time-critical processes and emergencies.
For example, a city’s Command and Control Center monitors a high-crime neighborhood for loitering, gang, and drug-related activity using video surveillance with analytics, together with IP enabled smart lighting to illuminate the area, a License Plate Recognition (LPR) system, and acoustical targeting technology that detects gun shots. A gun shot triggers an intelligent, immediate response by the Event Management System (EMS) — without receiving a 911 call. A trained, certified operator accesses the cameras for real-time analysis of the situation, while the LPR system records the license plate of a car leaving the area.