Qualitative Research for Public Safety
The qualitative exploration of public safety was implemented by Choong et al. (2018) for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the US Department of Commerce on the topic of first responders. The report included the analysis of interviews with approximately two hundred responders across the country, who represent a body of trained professionals specializing in arriving at a scene of an emergency and assisting in addressing the situation. The work of first responders is an essential aspect of public safety because they are the ones to be deployed immediately in the case of accidents, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters.
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Choong et al. (2018) studied the effectiveness of the new Usability and User Interface project as applied to increase efficiency and effectiveness of first responders’ work as well as their needs and requirements. The engagement of professionals that deal with emergencies on a regular basis is detrimental for qualitative studies of this nature because their feedback and perspectives offer a detailed look at the effectiveness of an implemented program. Also, the findings of interviews represent a basis for further studies of quantitative nature to expand on the issues and problems identified in the first stage of the research.
As applied to public safety, the studied project showed that there is no unified approach to increasing efficiency because the work of the first respondents is highly varied. It is also essential to minimize the use of technologies for ‘technology’s sake,’ which means that the implemented projects must fit the needs of professionals and not make it more complicated. Reliability and connectivity were shown to be imperative components of successful first responder programs because professionals greatly rely on cellular, radio, and wireless networks when ensuring public safety.
Quantitative Research for Public Safety
A quantitative approach to public safety was offered by Bachner (2013) for the IBM Center for the Business of Government as related to predictive policing, which implies crime prevention through the use of data and analytics. Predictive policing is a critical aspect of the modern law enforcement because it contributes to the enhanced methods of crime prevention. With the full availability of technologies, broad data samples, and statistics, crime mapping can be effective in improving resource allocation efficiency and allowing police officers to respond to crime risks immediately.
Predictive policing is implemented by combining three essential analysis techniques: analysis of space, analysis of time and space, and the analysis of social networks. All data involved in the analysis is of quantitative nature and is used for making predicting the likelihood of crime occurrence. For example, the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) was the first to integrate the program into its daily operations starting from 2011. A computer algorithm was created drawing from the database of previous crime incidents to assign probabilities of crime occurrence in specific areas.
Predictive policing using quantitative data is a promising area of practice because it offers law enforcement agencies to respond to crime risks with the highest probabilities. When ensuring public safety, the use of prior data on crimes can provide professionals with an opportunity to be prepared for arising risks and deploy more police officers to patrol at locations where the likelihood of crime occurrence is higher than in other areas. However, further research on this topic is needed as both policing methods and technology used for forecasting are always changing.
Bachner, J. (2014). Predicting policing: Preventing crime with data and analytics. The Business of Government, 2014, 86-90.
Choong, Y-Y., Dawkins, S., Furman, S., Greene, K., Prettyman, S., & Theofanos, M. (2018). Voices of first responders – identifying public safety communication problems. Web.