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Integrating Technology into Public Safety

December 6, 2023

24

An article recently featured in the Daily Dispatch reported that the Colorado Supreme Court, in a five-to-two ruling, deemed admissible the reverse Google keyword search warrant used by Denver Police in a 2020 house fire case. The decision could have broad implications for how investigators use digital technology in solving cases. Fire Headlines host Samantha Didion is joined by Chief Jeff Buchanan and special guest Kevin Sofen, an expert in technology within the public safety sector, to explore the integration of technology into the fire service.

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A public safety technology specialist joins to discuss how to integrate technology into public safety in the latest episode of WFCA’s Fire Headlines Podcast.

Integrate Technology into Public Safety

An article recently featured in the Daily Dispatch reported that the Colorado Supreme Court, in a five-to-two ruling, deemed admissible the reverse Google keyword search warrant used by Denver Police in a 2020 house fire case. The decision could have broad implications for how investigators use digital technology in solving cases. Fire Headlines host Samantha Didion is joined by Chief Jeff Buchanan and special guest Kevin Sofen, an expert in technology within the public safety sector, to explore the integration of technology into the fire service.

Pandora’s Box with Technology

In the opening of the episode, Kevin expresses his surprise upon learning that a suspect was apprehended using a reverse keyword search, noting that it was not something he had considered before. But with technology advancing faster and faster each day, he characterizes this development as opening Pandora’s Box. He believes a lot of good can come from this, but also recognizes the possibility of negative consequences. Kevin says the situation in Colorado “is a unique example of where first responders are now starting to kind of toe the line in terms of the privacy rights and legal rights,” and emphasizes the need for a broader conversation.

The article states that reverse keyword search is not a blanket method that can be used widely, it is a case-by-case situation. Kevin shares a story of how this situation reminds him of the integration of drones into our lives. Initially, people thought the drones were being used to spy in private areas. To calm this fear of privacy invasion, officials engaged in discussions with the community, clarifying the intended purpose of drones. Kevin recommends that first responders engage in similar conversations with their communities to educate them about the use of this technology.

This is an Evolution, Not a Revolution

The most common fear with new technology is that it’s intended to replace humans and, consequently, lead to job loss. Kevin reassures us that this is not the objective, emphasizing the most crucial tool remains the human brain. The idea is to figure out how to outsource, streamline, and automate some of these tasks to have an extra 30 minutes to an hour a day to spend on other tasks. The technology being introduced to the fire service is designed to assist first responders in making informed decisions and simplifying day-to-day tasks. This aims to provide them with more time to focus on the task at hand.

Connect with Kevin Sofen on LinkedIn: www.LinkedIn.com/in/Kevin-Sofen/

You can email Fire Headlines at [email protected].

Sign up for the Daily Dispatch to get the FREE daily newsletter of articles like these in your area, as well as industry developments and trends, at www.dailydispatch.com.

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