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Critical Information to the Point of Need: Purdue University and Campus Public Safety Software Solutions
On January 21, 2014, a Purdue student entered a classroom in the school’s Electrical Engineering building and shot and stabbed a fellow classmate to death. The situation could have easily led to more injuries or casualties, but the Purdue University Police Department quickly got the call and was able to respond to the scene in less than two minutes. Furthermore, the local city police department and the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s officer were also alerted and arrived on the scene within moments.
“A West Lafayette Police Officer was within a block of the EE building when the calls started coming in,” recalled John K. Cox, Chief of Police for the Purdue University Police Department. “Not five minutes after the incident began, multiple, coordinating law enforcement agencies were on the scene providing a multi-faceted public safety response.”
That quick, coordinated response was possible because Purdue University Police Department utilizes SunGard Public Sector’s OneSolution, which connects CAD, Records Management (RMS), and other mobile and web applications into a single enterprise suite. The proprietary modules are interoperable across agencies – meaning that the records entered on one agency’s ONESolution can be accessed on another, for example.
The Purdue Police Department has taken advantage of the advanced interoperability the system provides. Today their RMS, CAD and mobiles link with nearby agencies such as the Lafayette Police Department, the West Lafayette Police Department, and the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Purdue University Fire Department. “SunGard has heard our feedback on wanting a highly customizable solution that we can link with other nearby agencies,” Chief Cox said.
Going forward, Chief Cox plans to use the vast swathes of data ONESolution provides to make more informed policing decisions. “A few years ago we used data from ONESolution to analyze drug use on our campus and realized that there had been a spoke in calls related to drugs to our residence hall system,” said Chief Cox. “Using the data proved that there was a need in the community and we have now become more proactive than reactive when it comes to combating illegal narcotics crimes on campus.”
Purdue University Police Department has been a SunGard customer since 2000. Since then, they have been discovering innovative ways to use the platform. “Our campus acts like a medium-sized city,” explained Chief Cox. “We have our own power plan, Indiana’s second busiest airport, and a student population of nearly 40,000. Like any agency responsible for the protection of city’s population, we look for the best possible technology to streamline processes, increase inefficiencies, and make the job of our officers easier.”
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We often miss opportunities to share social media success stories with management. Whether you’re sharing data with an elected official or a parks and recreation director, the value is in showing that your agency’s social media efforts matter. To be sure you are explaining the most pertinent information in an understandable way, here are some tips to assist you.
Establish a Schedule
An elected official or governing body would might call for an annual presentation of social media results, while department directors may prefer monthly. On the other hand, social media managers should be evaluating data regularly.
If you have an employee intranet, posting reports for all staff to see is encouraged! This will help all departments get a better understanding of your efforts, see what is most popular, and gage how their department is doing.
Visual Reports Take the… Pie
Pie charts help make data more visual and easy to understand. Use one to show various platform presences, and add in key demographics and total followers. Below, place a graph showing the spike when engagement peaked for each platform.
Adding in excerpts of social media posts really helps take the message home. Your boss or management might not understand the nuances of various platforms. Throwing in screenshots of a few actual tweets from Twitter, for example, can help explain what 100 words might not be able to.
Relate Results to Core Duties
What are the core responsibilities and services of your particular department? Most departments have defined these well. In your social media reporting, make an effort to tie in how it relates to the department’s core duties.
For instance, if a core responsibility is to provide community policing services to the public, show how your social media posts have driven traffic to your community policing pages or increased involvement in some way. Another approach is to link social media with your organization’s major initiatives for the year. Your boss will love it, guaranteed.
Do not simply just share data with your boss – make sure to make correlations, inferences and help draw conclusions. Use statements like, “This data shows a marked increase in online social media engagement. If we focus on xyz during the next quarter, we can achieve even more.” Sometimes data itself can be daunting, so extract several key items to highlight & summarize.
One final note – there’s nothing wrong with pointing out social media results that are less than stellar. In fact, I do not advise that you gloss over failed social campaigns just to focus on what you’re doing well. Rather, state that you have a lot of opportunity to get more meaningful results from social media, you have identified what you’d like to change, and you have a plan for doing so. Then of course, back that up with data and execution!
If your public agency operates a Google+ page or YouTube profile, listen up! Parent organization, Google, recently announced major changes to Google+ functionality, as well as the way user comments operate on YouTube. This is an attempt to address issues that have been troublesome to page administrators in the past.
Google+ will undergo a number of interesting changes. To alleviate the frustration of Google users who are not interested in maintaining a social media account, and to reboot Google+ as a relevant social media platform, they have announced that Google+ will no longer be intertwined with other services. The most welcome part of this change is that access to all Google services (Gmail, Drive, etc.) will no longer require us to create a Google+ profile. Just a simple Google account is needed.
The most notable change on YouTube is that any comments made by users will now only appear on YouTube, not also on Google+. And vice-versa. YouTube will also no longer require a Google+ profile when you wish to create a channel or make comments.
Why is Google doing this?
Google came to realize its users were frustrated with the requirement to establish an login to a Google+ account in order to access other Google services. There appears to be data suggesting that most Google+ users only created Google+ accounts in order to access other Google services, such as Google+ photos and YouTube, and that they were not actually using Google+ as a social media platform.
You might wonder – is Google+ getting ready to close down? A fair question, although Google hasn’t made that known. In fact, they just introduced a new feature, Google+ Collections. This allows users to group their posts by topic and shared interests, and to share their collections publicly, privately, or among a custom set of people. I see similarities in the value people find in collections grouped together on the Pinterest platform.
Why should public agencies care?
With limited time and resources available toward maintaining a social media presence, government entities need to gauge the value of maintaining a profile on a particular social platform. Changes that simplify the administration of social media accounts are worth getting to know.
Additionally, this might offer an opportunity for public agencies to focus informational campaigns by targeting to specific Collections. However, the payout on that effort remains to be seen based on the relatively low active user base of the platform.
My favorite part for government entities is that the changes will also allow your agency to clean up non-functioning Google+ profiles that solely existed to administer other accounts. Now that you need only have a Google account (not a Google+ account) to manage other Google services (such as Gmail, etc.), there should be less confusion from your constituents.
Local governments, public safety and justice agencies, non-profit organizations, and the citizens they serve can envision the future happening today with SunGard Public Sector.