Safety Network Delivers On Accessibility, Affordability (Florida Sheriff Opinion Article)

By Mike Adkinson, Sheriff Walton County Florida

In September, as powerful hurricanes stacked up in a unrelenting line, Florida found itself in the path of destruction, along with Texas, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and much of the Caribbean.

This hurricane season has reminded us of nature’s fierce power and the awesome strength of the volunteers, neighbors, and first responders who step up in times of need.

Hurricanes, storms and floods are intense examples, yet in communities across the nation during emergencies and day-to-day operations, public safety is being asked to do more and more without an equivalent increase in resources.

Through my role as the Sheriff of Walton County and my position as president of the Florida Sheriffs Association, I know the challenges faced by Florida’s law enforcement. I also hear the challenges my colleagues from around the country face as they strive to meet the needs in their communities.

Newer and better technology is often the answer to how we continue to do more with less. But technology can be both a help and a hindrance to my law enforcement colleagues. Connected devices make us faster and better in many ways, allowing us to map locations, scan a license plate for instant background information, and track officers and vehicles in the field. Technology also has us juggling multiple devices, dealing with upgrades and maintenance, working around systems that don’t share information, and finding ourselves without a network connection when we need it most.

This opinion article was written by Mike Adkinson and appears in the News-Press dated November 1, 2017.

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Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson is president of the Florida Sheriffs Association.


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