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Survey shows that citizens want more communications technology to improve public safety

As reported recently on GovTech.com, a new survey released by Accenture reveals that citizens across the board want more ways to report crime and help support crime reduction in their neighborhoods. In fact, more than two-thirds of respondents believe that technology is at the heart of the matter.

Underscoring the need for increased use of digital communication tools, the survey, which included 2,000 U.S. citizens, found nearly nine in 10 respondents (86 percent) said they want more police services available online, and more than two-thirds (71 percent) said they want better mobile access to police services and public safety information.

The survey also found that more than nine in 10 citizens said they want their police forces to offer new ways to report crime (91 percent), increase information sharing on police services (92 percent) and collaborate with citizens through community policing programs (91 percent).

Although the survey was published recently, the use of technology to communicate with, educate and better engage the community is nothing new. Local police departments have been using digital communications to reduce crime and increase quality of life for its citizens – with impressive results for several years.

One great example is the success of the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, which was able to engage citizens, through digital outreach, to submit tips and deter crime.  In launching this program in 2013 the Sheriff’s Office had two key goals in mind: to increase the crime tip submissions coming in directly from the public and to increase the number of citizens receiving and engaging with information from its office.

After implementing GovDelivery, the Stearns County Sherriff’s Office saw significant results on both fronts.  Most significantly, they were able to increase the total number of crime tips submitted by the community by 522%, as compared with the previous year. Additionally, residents downloaded 143% more crime prevention and awareness documents than the year before and were actually twice as likely to open a message from the Sheriff’s Office, compared to the other top 10 Stearns County email topics combined.

For more details and an infographic illustrating the success of this program, click here.  For more examples of GovDelivery’s clients leveraging innovative, scalable digital technology to connect with more people and then leveraging those connections to drive action, visit our downloads page.