NIJ Challenge Winners Use Technology to Improve Criminal Justice Operations

  • National Institute of Justice
  • US Ignite
  • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
WASHINGTON — The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) announced the three Winners Ultra-High Speed (UHS) Apps Challenge. NIJ created the Challenge to encourage software developers and public safety professionals to take advantage of public domain data and UHS bandwidth systems with apps that significantly improve criminal justice or public safety services and operations. Currently, most app developers optimize their software for slower and lower capacity networks. The prospect of UHS networks capable of transferring large amounts of data more quickly and reliably creates new opportunities for developers.

The challenge, which was held in two phases, was created with guidance from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and US Ignite. The three winning entries shared the prize of $150,000.

Challenge Winners
The winning entries provide real-time and individually tailored information to practitioners in rapidly evolving emergency situations, as well as opening doors to more powerful analytical and management tools.

First Place: City of Ammon, School Emergency Screencast Application
Prize: $75,000
The school emergency screencast application works with a school’s existing camera systems, UHS bandwidth and gunshot detection hardware to report gunshot fire immediately to first responders. Emergency personnel can then turn on the video and audio feeds to identify the shooter, providing potentially life-saving information that can improve response time and tactical decisions.

Second Place: City of Torrance, UHS Mapping Application
Prize: $50,000
The UHS Mapping application empowers individual businesses, schools and other building owners to share their location and other data, such as maps, floor plans, parking structures, video, dangerous chemicals list, with first responders. This can improve first responder safety and facilitate field operations, particularly in high-risk incidents.

Third Place: Forensic Logic, Inc., LEAP Network Video Application
Prize: $25,000
The LEAP network connects public CCTV with law enforcement records and open-source GIS platforms. This allows law enforcement agencies to search video feeds from a range of video management software live or after a crime is reported. The system is capable of connecting to body-worn or dashboard cameras and allowing private CCTV or video clips filmed by the public to be uploaded.

NIJ Overview

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice and is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. The National Institute of Justice provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice, particularly at the state and local levels. The National Institute of Justice, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) seek to promote the development and evaluation of criminal justice software applications (apps) that are compatible with ultra-high-speed (UHS) networks (100 Mbps symmetrical up to 1 Gbps symmetrical). The National Institute of Justice offers this Challenge as a call to design and create UHS-compatible apps that measurably improve the efficiency and/or effectiveness of criminal justice and public safety services and operation.

The expansion of UHS networks offers increased opportunity for the development of “disruptive” criminal justice apps – apps that actually change the way services and information are delivered to criminal justice and other public safety practitioners. New UHS apps now have the potential to provide ubiquitous, real-time, individually tailored information and decision-support for criminal justice and public safety practitioners in rapidly evolving emergency situations, and the increased capacity of UHS systems now makes it possible to merge and manipulate data allowing for the development and use of powerful analytical and management tools. Contestants therefore should think broadly and creatively in designing UHS apps that may be used to improve effectiveness and/or efficiency in a variety of criminal justice and public safety contexts.


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