Improving situational awareness is critical not only to effective policing, but also to keeping first responders safe. But how is mobile helping to enhance situational awareness for public safety officers?

I recently spoke with Verizon’s Associate Director of Business Products Ana Ossa about just that.

“We don’t believe situational awareness is about static, fixed information,” Ossa said. “It’s about getting information from sensors and data from video feeds [to their devices] — so [first responders] know what they’re doing when they’re walking into a situation.”

And it’s not just about continuous data going to smartphones or tablets; first responders also need to make sure the information they receive is coming through securely and quickly while they’re on the go.

Forward-thinking public safety agencies are also beginning to explore wearables as a wrist-worn mobile solution. With all of their built-in sensors, wearables are powerful, user-friendly tools for keeping first responders safe.

Wearables can provide what Ossa refers to as “lifetime intelligence,” as well as information such as an officer’s vitals like blood pressure, heart rate and even stress levels.

“Believe it or not, those are often some of the reasons why officers are injured — they’re sleep-deprived or stressed,” said Ossa. “With wearables, we can get that data into the eyes and hands of the dispatchers who are going to be watching over the first responders.”

Plan and implement a mobile initiative at your agency with this practical roadmap.