Helping PSAPs see the big picture
What is in this article?
Cross-departmental coordination and savings
Forward-thinking municipalities are leveraging speech-analytics solutions that have been purchased by PSAPs within their other departments as well. By transcribing witness/suspect interviews during criminal investigations and maintaining that information in a database, speech analytics can determine whether a suspect’s name is mentioned during multiple interviews in independent, unrelated investigations. This uncovers patterns that investigators otherwise may not find, and lets public-safety departments leverage extra available information.
For many municipalities, the PSAP is the first point of contact for many citizens and represents a central area for obtaining data. Speech analytics can uncover the need for additional equipment or personnel, based upon changing demographics.
Many of the 6,094 PSAPs in the U.S. today are being forced to decide how to continue to ensure public safety with significantly less money. Speech analytics can help save money by determining whether the PSAP is handling responsibilities beyond its charter. According to the Federal Communications Commission, Americans place approximately 240 million 911 calls per year — almost 650,000 per day.
While most of these are legitimate emergency calls, a percentage are from people reporting potholes, asking about the weather, seeking directions or some other non-emergency inquiry. These non-emergency requests tie up resources and, over the course of the year, can result in millions of dollars in wasted spending for agencies that serve large populations. By documenting these cases, PSAPs can support the need for a dedicated 311 citizen-service center.
Analytics technology offers a combination of invaluable tools that mine data that already is being captured to uncover issues and trends. This information can be leveraged to drive change in other areas of emergency response. Clearly, many PSAPs are listening. Is your PSAP one of them?
Bill Pryor is the director of public safety for Verint Systems, a provider of speech-analytics software.