Convergence of IT and Law Enforcement

Usama Georges, CIO, San Diego County District Attorney
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Usama Georges, CIO, San Diego County District Attorney

Usama Georges, CIO, San Diego County District Attorney

Challenges of Transitioning from Corporate to Public Sector

A noticeable commonality during the transition was that although resources were not the same, the importance of IT was significant and apparent in both these sectors. IT is like a wheel for the business without which an organization cannot work efficiently. Having been in the IT industry, working for private, education, and non-profits in the past, I found that there were no significant roles for a CIO or an IT manager in boardroom discussions. Today, private sectors thrive on profitability, and this is ensured through the utilization of IT services to improve productivity to provide a streamlined workflow. Nonetheless, it is quite evident that when it comes to the public sector, there is indeed a slower adoption of IT in these organizations.

Importance of IT in Public Sector

The traction for IT in the public sector may have been slow in pace, but it is a strategic part of public sector initiatives, as is for the private sector. Normally, IT services are requested at the tail end of a project. This creates a lot of confusion for both, IT and the organization. The organization is confused of its capabilities to execute when they are asked and hence IT is confused at what kind of services is requested to make the project a success. There is a higher chance of success when IT is brought in at the beginning of the project as a partner and not at the end as a utility service. IT needs to have a seat at the table to be more effective on execution.

IT as a Critical Enabler of Innovation

There is a misconception that IT is a cost center where there are no gains and profits on the money invested. This is apparent when organizations deem that when technology solutions are deployed, there is a significant loss of money with no net increase in profitability. By properly utilizing the resources and following the IT roadmap along with an effective business model, there is a clear observation that there is no loss of capital, but instead, money is gained in the longer run.

 Predictive analysis with the help of machines and does not necessarily replace human efforts; the emphasis is given on human factor in the organization 

Strategic initiatives taken at the Office

Following up a case was a tedious task in the past. But today, with the digitization of records, it is easier for citizens to gain access to all the information of proceedings that is allowed for their use. Since this is criminal justice information, it is the duty of the law enforcement to keep the information secured and avoid misuse of confidential data. Ever since data was transferred electronically, it has made the organization work more smoothly and efficiently. Electronic submittal from law enforcement agencies is also under process so that it is easier to process all the information faster through a digital portal. We have always been reactive to public records in the past as we work in a public entity. Traditionally, the public had to reach out to the county assessor for information, but today, due to the advent of technology, all data is electronically and remotely accessible. The main motive is to provide information to the public to ensure awareness. Communication with the public has become effortless owing to the IT systems. Due to the digitization of public records, there is an organized flow of information for easier access.

Role of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Predictive analysis with the help of machines and artificial intelligence does not necessarily replace human efforts; the emphasis is given on human factor in the organization. Providing the right tools to ensure the effective functioning of predictive analysis helps in dealing with criminal activities. Nevertheless, the implementation of predictive analytics in public sector organizations still has a long road ahead.

Building Future Leaders with Training and Recruitment

In terms of recruitment, there is a stark difference between working for the government and private sector. There are more challenges in recruiting individuals for senior positions than lower positions within the public sector. We are facing a lot of challenges providing employees the platform to grow and retaining talent since there is a difference in pay scale and rate of innovation in these roles. We recruit our staff from colleges through our student worker program where studying and employment opportunities converge. Students get proper training to enhance their learning skills and they gain valuable experience. Students are perceived as future assets that are paired with senior employees who mentor them and transfer their knowledge. This business knowledge transfer model is highly significant for the organization because the mentoring provided is a unique experience that cannot be found in a classroom environment. When the senior engineers decide to leave the organization, there is an army of future leaders ready to take on the mantle. Providing the right platform to encourage innovation and ideas are also pivotal for building the next generation to work competently. It is indeed true that most students today are purpose-driven and not money-driven, and that is a highly significant factor to grow in this field.

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