NZ Police

NZ Police and eSponder

When business as usual can be anything but

The situation

The Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011 caused tragic loss of life, severe damage to thousands of homes and devastation to the central city business district. The scale of this catastrophic event highlighted the importance of an emergency response that is well planned, well directed and well informed.

The pain

The 2011 Christchurch earthquake and the upcoming 2011 Rugby World Cup later that year highlighted that New Zealand Police required technology to provide critical real-time information and situational awareness, allowing decision makers to coordinate groups of people quickly in response to fast-changing situations during large scale events or emergency situations.

It’s a point that the New Zealand Police took to heart by investing in some of the world’s most innovative technology.

In response, the police worked with Intergen to develop two new toolsets.

The technology

The first toolset, Signal, allows police to track social media across the country in real time, helping to identify incidents with remarkable speed.

The second, E.Sponder, pulls together a variety of incident management tools to create a virtual command centre
Though both toolsets were developed to manage major events and incidents it was obvious they could also support NZ Police in their day-to-day, business as usual activities. And so the two tools were brought together to create Real Time Intelligence and Operation Deployment – or ‘RIOD’ for short.

RIOD is built using Microsoft SharePoint as the platform, and the idea is simplicity itself. For any given event or activity (let’s say the 2014 Royal Tour), a SharePoint site is created, along with selected, prebuilt tools associated with the event. Typically, they will include:

  • A mapping system for tracking people, vehicles, equipment and key locations
  • Social monitoring tools to pick up conversations that warrant action
  • Heat and location maps
  • Tasking and activity/event logs
  • Associated events, such as a parade that might block a motorcade
  • Prebuilt texts and emails that allow you to send predefined groups to any location at speed
  • Databases of information and resources

The gain

Neil Macrae, head of deployment at Police National Headquarters, says: “RIOD allows us to coordinate centrally. Before, we had 260-odd SharePoint sites, and other databases that couldn’t be accessed by everyone. RIOD gives us greater availability of operational material, like orders, evacuation plans, business continuity plans, floor plans – any information we need for an unplanned event or emergency.”

At the same time, each police district now has more control over its own activities. “We have 12,000 officers in 12 districts, from urban Auckland to the large Tasman District, which includes the West Coast. RIOD allows each to set up protocols, coordination logistics and responses that work for that area.

“What’s more, because information from one station can be made available to others, we can coordinate activity across large areas.”

The delivery

“Intergen is flexible and adapt to our needs,” says Neil. “They understand our business process and have brought in people who are like minded.

We've turned RIOD from just an emergency tool to one we can use in our daily business.

Neil Macrae
Manager: Deployment, Police National Headquarters

“We’re continually improving RIOD, and have a raft of enhancements to get across the line. We’ve turned RIOD from just an emergency tool to one we can use in our daily business.”

Enhancements include taking RIOD to mobile devices, which will support police on the beat with everything from mobile ticketing to emergency responses.

“Requirements from our supplier include empathy and interest in the demands of police work,” he adds. “Intergen has demonstrated this many times, including recently putting one of their people into a police administrative role to keep the project moving. That helps bring SharePoint skills into the NZ Police.”

The business case

The tools that make up RIOD have already proved their worth in major planned and unplanned events. When NZ Police restructured into 12 geographical districts, the need to adapt them into an in-house, business as usual toolset, flexible enough to be adapted by each district while still functioning as a centralised policing tool, became strong indeed.

The business value

  • Greater visibility of what’s happening in and around major events, allowing faster, more effective responses as events unfold.
  • Better coordination of personnel and resources thanks to pre-built templates for a wide range of scenarios, including disasters and police leave.
  • Faster response times to unplanned events.
  • The ability for each police district to manage local events to suit circumstances. For example, the time needed for police to get to an emergency in Tasman may be more than needed in Auckland – RIOD allows Tasman district to create protocols needed until police arrive.

Solutions

Public Safety and Emergency Management

A comprehensive event and emergency management capability, leveraging SharePoint technology.

Technology

Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint is a powerful and versatile business platform for content management and collaboration, both inside and outside your organisation.

Signal

Signal provides social media monitoring for law enforcement, emergency management, security and events.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications that support your business.

Industry

Public Sector

We've been working closely with the public sector for more than a decade.

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