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By Jenn Gvozdek – Omnivex

In the movies, every hero needs a partner to help them fight crime. It’s no different in real life! But rather than calling upon a single costumed crusader, law enforcement and government officials increasingly depend on digital communications, especially digital signage.

Digital display technology helps distribute updates, alerts, and critical information to the public to help prevent crime, apprehend persons of interest and improve safety. From individual neighborhoods to cities to states to the country as a whole, digital communications provide a platform for sharing real-time information on any type of screen.

Protecting the public

The primary mission of law enforcement is to protect and serve, and digital communications are a powerful tool police have in their arsenal to help protect the public. For example, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, a partnership between the FBI and digital signage operators along the East Coast of the United States extended the bureau’s reach as far south as Washington D.C.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency also joined forces with Clear Channel Outdoor to broadcast public safety messages on seven digital billboards along major highways in the Boston area, helping keep the public out of harm’s way. Similarly, digital billboards and other networked digital screens have been used to share real-time updates and important evacuation information during severe weather conditions like hurricanes, fires, blizzards and tornadoes.

Crime prevention

Although digital communications can help police catch criminals after the act, they also play an essential role in helping prevent crimes and tragedies from occurring. Public service organizations are increasingly harnessing the power of digital communication to inform and educate the public.

Recent public awareness campaigns have included texting and driving, speeding, and vandalism. In addition, digital communications are used to rapidly issue Amber Alerts for child abduction cases and Silver Alerts for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other mental disabilities who have gone missing.

Most wanted

Every law enforcement officer knows that when it comes to locating and catching criminal suspects, fugitives and persons of interest, time is of the essence. Since seconds often mean the difference between life and death, the real-time capabilities provided by digital signage can help prevent a crime from being committed and save lives.

That’s why the FBI has been using digital communications to publicize wanted criminals, fugitives, missing persons, public safety issues, and law enforcement initiatives for over a decade. Success stores are not limited to the FBI, however. News stories of digital technologies helping local law enforcement, the private sector, and the public work together to bring criminals to justice are becoming more common in the information age.

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