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Public safety professionals want to use technology to make their jobs easier. They want to reduce paperwork, work remotely and use mobile phone connectivity for daily tasks, according to a survey from Mark43, a cloud-native public safety software company.

The survey found that 91% first responders believe data reporting processes could be improved at their organizations, a 5% increase over last year’s survey. Other results were that almost half (49%) of a shift is devoted to paperwork and that 70% have spent an entire shift completing paperwork.

“We…learned that paperwork is the top activity that first responders spend their time on, ahead of proactive crime prevention and working with youth,” Mark43 Co-founder and President Matthew Polega said in a prepared statement.

“While report writing is a reality for any public safety professional, it doesn’t have to be this time-consuming. Public safety agencies need modern technology — like cloud-native records management systems and analytics platforms — so they can get back to the job of policing. Our 2024 U.S. Public Safety Trends Report shows that technology plays a central role in everything a public safety agency does.”

The public safety connectivity survey also found a desire for mobile. Sixty-one percent say that they return to a physical location to do their paperwork. That evidently is not a popular work structure: ninety-one percent report that they would be more likely to extend the number of years they plan to work if they could work remotely. Eighty-nine percent use their mobile phones on their everyday work tasks.

The survey also looked at artificial intelligence. Sixty-five percent of public safety agencies are adopting AI, a trend supported by 77% of respondents. Seventy-two percent believe it could help reduce crime and 81% trust their agencies to use the powerful technology responsibly. 

The use of AI by first responders could become more accessible over time. Last September, global strategy consulting firm Altman Solon said spending on AI could grow six-fold by 2025.

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