April 9, 2020
How do you practice social distancing at work when your job is centered on interaction with people in public on a daily basis? For the public safety professional, COVID-19 has added challenges to an already difficult job. In order to stay safe on the job and keep the public safe in this unprecedented time, the right technology that provides a digital connection between citizens and their local law enforcement department can be a life-saving tool.
With this in mind, ProPhoenix swiftly implemented a solution in collaboration with Gloucester County Emergency Services that would mitigate physical contact with the public and scale some operations for the department. The ProPhoenix Citizen Services Program allows departments to provide an alternative contact for the community in order to receive information and report certain types of incidents. Each agency receives its own web portal which allows residents of that particular town to do a variety of tasks such as receive newsletters, view road closures, and report simple incidents.
Jay Jones, Deputy Chief for Gloucester County found the CSP simple to get started with and, more importantly, train his agencies: “Citizen Services was very easy to use and set up. Showing police agencies how to set it up only took minutes.”
ProPhoenix had URL’s for agencies in Gloucester County set up in about two days and online reporting was up and running in less than three days. “The ability for residents to report an issue in the comfort and safety of their own location is a win win for everyone. Some residents may feel intimidated calling the police and then embarrassed by having a police officer show up at their home for something that with the click of a mouse and several keystrokes they can put a report online along with other very useful tools, immediately at their fingertips”, say Jones.
As departments change their operating procedures during this unprecedented time, tools such as the CSP give them the leverage they need to serve the public while keeping officers safe. When the crisis has passed, communities will return to a new normal and departments can continue to use the CSP to provide non-emergency services, freeing up more time and resources within the agency.