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NSW Police readies for tech overhaul

NSW Police has selected US-based public safety software provider to deliver the first crucial components of the state’s new cloud-based integrated policing operating system (IPOS). The Commissioner signed a partnership with the vendor on recently, ending a tumultuous five-year search to replace the force’s 27-year-old core operational policing system (COPS).

IPOS will eventually be used by the force’s 18,000-strong workforce for everyday operations such as arrest and charges, criminal investigations and forensic analysis – supplanting COPS. The system – which is expected to come online progressively over the next five years – will also replace the NSW Police’s decade-old Fujitsu computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system for Triple Zero callouts. The force has also revealed that it will equip every frontline officer with ‘MobiPol’ mobile devices as part of the broader IPOS program in step with several other jurisdictions, including SA and WA.

Under the new deal, the tech company will provide the call-taking, dispatch, records, investigations, and forensics components of IPOS through its “single platform” records management system and CAD. It follows an “extensive due diligence process” that began when the tech firm and Unisys were first down-selected as the IPOS technology solution and delivery partner in March 2020.  NSW Police has been working to modernise COPS – which has been used by officers since 1994 – since scoring an initial $44.8 million in the 2013-14 state budget for the overhaul.

It originally settled on another solution, dubbed NewCOPS, but ended up forgoing the decision and restarted the procurement in October 2018, before finally settling on the chosen tech firms last year. The NSW Police Corporate Services Deputy Commissioner stated that IPOS, combined with devices that ensure officers have access to real-time information, will transform the force.

The “modularised solution” is expected to create process efficiencies for NSW Police users, including reducing data entry time, decreasing incident response times and improving officer safety. IPOS will simplify processes and introduce technology that is integrated, easy to use and fast, he said. These unparalleled efficiencies will save administrative time for frontline officers, allowing them to spend more time policing.

It was previously estimated that the total cost of ownership for IPOS will be in excess of $1 billion over 15 years. The modernisation of core technology is critical for the NSW Police Force to improve operational flexibility, reduce the risk of outdated legacy systems and respond to challenges of the modern policing environment.

The Co-Founder and CEO of the tech firm stated that the NSW Police partnership – its first in Australia – “solidifies [the company’s] presence in the international public safety market.” With this historic partnership, the firm is bringing its tried-and-true approach to one of the largest police forces in the English-speaking world, he said. The tech firm is already in the process of setting up a dedicated customer support team for NSW Police, which will be its largest outside of the US.

According to another article, a new state-of-the-art Police Rescue truck, equipped with a high-tech vertical winch and a drone, was rolled out in the Blue Mountains on 24 February 2021.

The Hino 1424 Medium Rigid Crew Cab is the first of a new fleet of heavy vehicle trucks being delivered to the Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit across metropolitan and regional locations in NSW. The vehicles are outfitted with the latest specialist equipment such as drones, a vertical rescue ascender, 100-tonne hydraulic cylinders, extended duration breathing apparatus, and road crash rescue hydraulics with electric rewind reels.

Police will use the vertical rescue ascender, along with a remotely piloted aircraft (drone), for rescue and recovery operations in hard-to-reach areas, such as on cliffs and in bushland.

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