“The centre really supports our Police visibility program and operating strategy,” says Mark Evans, Police deputy chief executive of strategy.
He says the centre, located at the Royal New Zealand Police College, complements the Innovation Lab that was opened in late 2014.
“The Innovation Lab is where we try new ideas,” he states. “We have dedicated teams that sit within the Agile Development Centre.
“If there's is a good idea, we have built agile methodologies to allow us to implement our ideas faster."
Information technology is the key enabler of change in the organisation, he states.
“We are really trying to speed up the implementation of new technology in the organisation and to do that with clear business involvement.”
He cites the Police mobile solution, which was first implemented two years ago, has driven a different mindset on how police officers use technology.
We are at the forefront of the global law enforcement technology curve.
“We are seeking to really speed up the development and rollout of apps on the mobile platform,” he says.
The mobility solution is estimated to have saved the 6500 frontline officers around 520,000 hours annually, and effectively put 345 more officers on the streets. The officers, who were provided iPhones and tablets, were able to access data in the field, share real-time information and request resources. This reduced the trips to the station and improved communication with the dispatchers and other responders.
The initial applications require quite a lot of work in the systems that support the apps in the back end, explains Evans. Once these are fixed, “the ability to roll out similar applications for other purposes becomes a lot easier”.
He says a key pointer for other agencies looking to build a similar centre is to focus on the value of strategic partnerships.
“We recognise that you can only work effectively if you have trusted relationships and that we have a common understanding of the problems that we are trying to solve.
“Most of the companies that we are in partnership with are international global companies,” he adds.
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We are seeking to really speed up the development and rollout of apps on the mobile platform.
“They are in a good position to identify opportunities either in other parts of the world or in New Zealand," he states. "What we are trying to do is get them involved in the whole end to end process so they have got a clear stake in the outcome.
He says the Agile development partners – Intergraph, Vodafone, Tait Communications, Wynyard, Smudge – were represented at the opening of the centre last week.
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He says at the same time, he has working relationships with law enforcement agencies around the world.
“I can say absolutely without contradiction we are at the forefront of the global law enforcement technology curve. I think it is in a large measure because we have different strategic partnerships in place to help us move forward more quickly than comparative agencies in other parts of the world."
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