Law Enforcement And Public Safety DWG

1.     Introduction and Background

OGC standards development process have depended upon communities of interest working to advance standards for improved information sharing, situational awareness and decision making.  OGC’s working group activities, testbeds and pilot initiatives will benefit from being driven by requirements and use cases provided by representatives from the law enforcement, civil security and public safety communities. 

Criminal acts and crises events have no boundaries, yet manifest themselves locally.  The ability to keep citizenry safe, prevent crime, and protect against acts of terror, widely depends on the ability to acquire relevent data, rapidly share appropriate data, analyze the information at hand, and make smart operational decisions.  Turning seemingly disparate data into actionable intelligence, through the  ‘intelligence life-cycle’ of planning, direction, collection, processing/exploitation, analysis/production, and dissemenation depends on geospatial and temporal correlation. Along with proper training and equipment, being ‘armed’ with location based situational awareness is what assures timely safety and security measures are taken.  

Law enforcement, civil security and public safety applications include the data, networks, web services that tie together levels of command, departments, organizations, dispatch users and field mobile users with current and accurate role-based location information.  Benchmarks from some urban law enforcement organizations indicate that geospatially enabled policing yields valuable improvements.  For example, geospatial analysis has helped law enforcement implement ‘hot spot’ policing for over 20 years.  Identifying high concentrations of crime in small geographic areas facilitates effective prevention and enforcement strategies that have proven to reduce crime.  

Open standards compliant GIS Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products are rapidly evolving to leverage virtualized and mobile computing environments and provide location based services.  These interoperable geospatial technologies when extended to fill some key gaps and applied in a holistic manner - with ease of integrated use in mind - have the potential to dramatically improve the law enforcement, civil security and public safety domain effectiveness and efficiency.  The Open Geospatial Consortium’s Open Web Services (OWS) interoperability test beds, when guided by a proactive Domain Working Group will be a practical method to coalesce GIS COTS vendors, solutions integrators, research organizations and government sponsors and make coherent strides in end-to-end capabilities and associated deployment and usage best practices. With the right mission experienced people as active participants, the LEAPS DWG will understand that it is imperative that future technology solutions are designed to support operational workflow and the public safety mission.

The Abu Dhabi Police joined the Open Geospatial Consortium as a Principal Member in order to lead a domain working group that will be supported by law enforcement, civil security and public safety forces from UAE, the Middle East region and other world regions. The Abu Dhabi Police have collaborated with North American, European and Asian law enforcement, civil security and public safety forces for many years.  Thus, the Abu Dhabi Police is ideally positioned to provide connection to the Middle East region as broader international community, as well as being able to promote participation and adoption of open standards development throughout the community of practice.  The Abu Dhabi Police will lead this open consensus based community of practice to co-evolve geospatially enabled best practices through a proactive Law Enforcement and Public Safety (LEAPS) domain working group (DWG).

Geospatial information and techologies along with OGC and complimentary open standards are being increasingly leveraged in major research and operational programs involved in emergency and disaster planning, early warning, prevention, response and recovery.  


2.     Purpose

2.1   Purpose

The purpose of the LEAPS DWG is to promote and support the establishment of local, national, regional and international requirements and best practices for web service interfaces, data models and schemas for enabling the discovery, access, sharing, analysis, visualization and processing of information.  This geospatially and temporally correlated information will be used to comprehensively address crime, terrorist activities and public safety incidents in an operationally effective way.

The scope of work for the LEAPS DWG will span all phases of GIS enabled law enforcement, civil security and public safety activities.

3.     Charter: Mission, Objectives and Key Activities

3.1   Mission

The mission of the LEAPS DWG is to drive open geospatial standards, interoperable geospatial products and best implementation practices that support improved decision making and operational efficiencies for all echelons of law enforcement, civil security and public safety community of users.

3.2   Objectives and Key Activities

The LEAPS DWG provides a unifying forum for local, National, regional and international law enforcement, civil security and public safety forces along with associated industry, academic and research organizations to collaboratively support the maturation of new ways to plan, think and operate with geospatial enablement.   The LEAPS DWG will:

  • Establish LEAPS community business outcomes and associated key performance indicators to derive LEAPS DWG goals and progress measurements
  • Identify LEAPS community interoperability and standards requirements, use cases, data models and related geospatial standards gaps such as:
    • The ability to distribute individual data sets and/or collections of data sets in a secure, consistent and accurate manner – including the use of locations and geometries in role based access control
    • The ability to execute time sensitive geodataset transfers over disadvantaged and,  at times, disconnected networks to and from mobile users
    • The ability to support temporal queries of changing geodatasets.
    • The ability to support web services and client applications involving synchronization and updates of geospatial data across a hierarchical Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)
    • Streamlined validation scenarios, bootstrap database creation and population, and defined query based subscription mechanisms
    • The ability to share analytical tools and tradecraft across communities of practice
  • Drive LEAPS domain requirements, use cases and data models into OGC testbeds and pilot initiatives
  • Foster LEAPS domain specific collaboration between multi-national Governments, Industry, Academia and Research Organizations
  • Harmonize common geospatial practices and LEAPS mission specific vocabularies
  • Reach out and educate communities of users and geospatial technology providers with LEAPS domain best practices


4.      Membership & Governance

4.1   Membership

The LEAPS DWG will be open to any OGC member at any time, in accordance with the OGC Policies and Procedures. The LEAPS DWG also seeks to be inclusive of all organisations and groups with a desire to contribute to the goal of interoperability within the chartered mission of this DWG. The LEAPS DWG will encourage regular interaction with representatives of the the broad community of law enforcement, civil security and public safety stakeholders.

4.2 Governance

The LEAPS DWG shall be governed in accordance with OGC Technical Committee Policies and Procedures. 

5.      Business Case

The LEAPS DWG will provide a forum for the discussion, prioritization and advancement of open standards solutions to benefit the LEAPS community.  It will also serve as a platform for outreach and education to help increase awareness of the value of OGC standards based enterprise solutions in the LEAPS community.   This will accelerate the acceptance and uptake of OGC standards in the LEAPS communities for improved interoperability, data sharing and decision making.

Development in leading edge technology is expensive and resource consuming and therefore need to only focus on gaps that need to be filled in order to fully leverage the extensive set of GIS COTS and Internet Infrastructure and their on-going technology advances. The current speed of technological advancement makes it virtually impossible for any individual organization to keep up. An OGC Forum presents an opportunity to both Government and the private sector to increase collaboration and sharing of resources to drive LEAPS domain innovation and while reducing life cycle costs.