Zach Quaintance, staff writer for Government Technology magazine recently wrote an article titled “SXSW 2019: Can Artificial Intelligence Spot Stressed Cops?”
In the article, Mr. Quaintance is quoted as saying “Imagine a future in which tech — likely powered by artificial intelligence or natural language processing — gauges when an officer has undergone too many emotionally taxing calls. That same product would alert supervisors to the officer’s plight, advising them to take the stressed individual out of the field until they’d recovered.”
At Altovista Technology, we have great news, the future has already arrived. Altovista Technology’s Arx Alert artificial intelligence platform provides Law Enforcement agencies a comprehensive way to investigate, report on, resolve and predict incidents – all in one centralized, cloud-based solution.
Police officers are held to a higher standard – they are expected to protect the public, not put it at risk. Police “actions should reflect a standard of professionalism and skill that ensures equal protection and equal treatment under the law,” as the COPS report on Risk Management in Law Enforcement makes clear.
That can be a high bar to meet, especially when you consider the extraordinary demands placed upon police officers. In the normal course of their job, officers can be exposed to gruesome accidents and crime scenes, child and domestic partner abuse and other horrors that can lead to post-traumatic stress. Police officers also endure the normal stressors of family life and extreme ones like divorce, loss of a parent or financial difficulties. Any of these factors can have a negative effect on an officer’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being, job performance and decision-making ability. The combination of stressed-out police officers and the high-risk critical tasks that they undertake on a daily basis creates possibilities for missteps and lawsuits. In addition, with the proliferation of video and social media, chances are good that someone will notice.
So, what is an agency to do?
When the Detroit Police Department was working to make the changes mandated by the consent decree, it turned to our founding entrepreneurs for help. Dr. Jay Harrison and Bo Cheng digitized Detroit PD’s records, connected them and developed a system that would enable the agency to identify, manage, mitigate and avoid future incidents of officer misconduct through actionable follow-up.
In the first five years after Harrison and Cheng created the software, DPD saw a 62 percent reduction in lawsuits, a 36 percent reduction in citizen complaints and a 64 percent reduction in fatal shootings. It also started saving over $5 million annually in lawsuit payouts.
Realizing that police departments of all sizes could benefit from the solution that transformed DPD, Harrison, Cheng and their partners founded Altovista Technology.
Altovista Technology’s software, Arx Alert, is cloud-based risk management software that helps agencies proactively monitor and identify risks before they become lawsuits. Using artificial intelligence, Arx Alert identifies when an officer has been exposed to or is exhibiting the potential for risk, then guides supervisors through an intervention process to proactively correct the issue. Arx Alert integrates multiple data sources (including data that is already digital and data that is stored on paper documents) that the agency is already keeping in the normal course of operations, saving supervisors the work of having to manually comb through disconnected databases.
The software searches across records management systems, computer-aided dispatch systems, training records, personnel records, and other data sources for factors like citizen complaints, excessive overtime, vehicle pursuits or collisions, officer-involved shootings and civil rights violations.
A supervisor can easily log in to a cloud-based customized dashboard to see all officers who report to him or her and any risk potentials are flagged. The dashboard provides a single, holistic view of individual officer activity and can be used to identify agency trends.
Cheng, Altovista Technology’s President says “Overtime, intake violations and vehicular incidents are prevalent in all police departments. These cause lawsuits and cost money just like the more newsworthy issues like improper use of force.”
The power to turn data into smart, timely, effective, trusted, actionable information is here. Right now, Arx Alert is being used to do some incredibly smart and good things, like creating safer and healthier police forces, which in turn creates safer and healthier communities. Proactive is the word for 21st century protecting and serving. Law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve need no longer rely on things like hope or luck.
Not on this watch.
An all-in-one risk management software solution powered by Artificial Intelligence automatically brings antiquated and potentially ineffective processes into this digital age to create meaningful, clear, accurate, real-time data that produces positive and effective action and outcomes. This isn’t just smart technology.
Arx Alert is an opportunity, one that allows law enforcement to get back to being the force for good it has always been.