As the pace and power of social, political, and technological change accelerates in the world, citizens and stakeholders expect everything to happen faster – including the transformation of public safety and policing organizations.
This pace of change also creates a turbulent environment in which policing leaders have to manage the “political economy” surrounding them – including the competing demands of stakeholder groups, the need for delivering innovative new policing models, and the mandate to improve public trust and safety.
Amidst a turbulent environment, innovative public safety leaders are moving forward to achieve dramatic new levels of capacity and public value. Right now, for example, visionary chiefs of police are redesigning use-of-force policy and training to improve crime response and build community trust. Leading-edge public safety organizations are using social networks, data and analytics to understand crime patterns and respond proactively to community needs.
For public safety leaders around the world one fact is certain: While the basic mandate to maintain law and order remains the same, the environment in which this mandate must be carried out is changing dynamically. Fueling this massive shift are robust social, political, and economic pressures, ever more powerful technologies, and rapidly evolving threats to community safety.
Today’s public safety leaders often feel squeezed in a vise. On one side pressure is ramping up to respond to evermore-complex crime and public safety threats such as natural disasters, violent extremism, and cybercrime. On the other side are pressing demands for citizen engagement, stakeholder collaboration, and community outreach. Policing leaders can feel torn: Should they focus on fighting crime efficiently? Or should they focus on growing public trust?
Leadership for a Networked World’s applied research, student innovation challenge, and on-campus summit programs are an initiative of Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie, Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH), part of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. TECH is a hub for students, faculty, alumni, and government and industry leaders to learn together, collaborate, and innovate. LNW accelerates these efforts by connecting leaders across sectors and developing cutting-edge thought leadership on innovation and organizational transformation.