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Fuling Police Launches A Joint Operations Lab

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Fuling Police Launches A Joint Operations Lab

By Huang Jiaqi, Deputy Director, Fuling Public Security Bureau, Chongqing, China

You may only have heard of Fuling for its spicy pickles (zhacai, or pickled mustard roots). Located in the middle of the city of Chongqing and within the Three Gorges Reservoir region, Fuling has also become a role model for China’s public security industry. Over the past two years, the Fuling Public Security Bureau has completed the integration of six types of investigative police forces into a joint operations lab. The lab has broken down internal barriers to enable the entire police force to process cases simultaneously through the use of multi-dimensional investigation and control techniques that rely on current Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including Cloud Computing and Big Data, to gather and analyze input from cameras and sensors located throughout the city.

The use of advanced technologies by the joint operations lab not only alleviates pressure on police officers, but also improves the efficiency of the public security system. More importantly, it encourages changes in the traditional ways of thinking about police work and enables the development of converged application systems that are based on service requirements. City agencies are incentivized to cooperate internally within their own groups and also with external stakeholders mindful of the shared goal of unified collaboration.

Breaking System-based Information Barriers

Here’s an example of how the Fuling lab works. Last year, after receiving the emergency call for a serious robbery, the joint operations lab rapidly filtered video of suspects fleeing with motorbikes and, by using vehicle tracking analysis, located the candidate locations where the suspects would most likely be found. The lab captured the facial images on-site, based on heat maps, and rapidly confirmed the identity of the suspects. Due to the combined capabilities of the joint operations lab, police officers were able to arrest the suspects within two hours of the crime.

Because the joint information lab eliminates information barriers between different police agencies it is easy to conduct efficient joint investigations, provide precise guidance, and accelerate case handling. The lab also seamlessly integrates 110 incident-reporting platforms and jointly analyzes segmented intelligence to create well-planned, accurate intelligence reports. Intelligence is released to the relevant agencies and frontline civilian police officers in real time, enabling police officers to respond quickly to incidents.

Previously, Fuling’s six separate police forces investigated cases by type and level of seriousness, and each department had its own working methods and service systems. Departments cooperated with each other only on complex cases.

The city of Fuling faced challenges in the areas of hardware, data handling, and IT technologies:

  • Hardware: Each police agency was isolated, equipped only to carry out its own specified missions. Some agencies had neither the capability nor willingness to share with others.
  • Data handling: Each police agency obtained data in their own particular way, and stored the data within only their department. The results were information silos with fragments of data scattered throughout the city.
  • IT technologies: The systems were incapable of interconnecting structured and unstructured data for use by secondary applications.
  • Fuling’s public security joint operations lab has integrated the information services for all municipal police forces in a way that each department continues to operate within their particular area of expertise. This approach is possible only because of our advanced technical platforms. In one instance, the Fuling Public Security Bureau built a converged resource pool to integrate heterogeneous data from multiple sources onto a data-sharing cloud platform.

    Technical Thinking Forces Changes

    After constructing the unified platform, Fuling police thought about how to put the system to its most efficient use. This drove the introduction of a bonus point system where, when an incident happens, each public security agency is rewarded when they contribute clues into the resource pool. The system provides different bonus points based on the size and value of the clues. This has inspired agencies to proactively share resources and form a positive cycle of requests, usage, adding notes or links, delivery, and further requests. The result is that there are now cases that are solved before an incident report can be filed with the public security bureau.

    The joint operations lab has brought many tangible benefits to the Fuling District. For example, the real-time emergency system previously used the traditional process-based development method: receive information and conduct investigations. Now, incidents are immediately put into the converged resource pool. Different police forces simultaneously focus on active cases, share resources with each other, and supplement clues at any time. Due to the incentives of the bonus point system, case investigations have changed from behind-the-scenes to ‘on stage.’ All personnel participate in cases, which has forced a change in police procedures.

    Increased data interactions are changing the traditional methods of communications transfer within and between departments. Previously, police forces used third-party social software, such as WeChat, or other internal software as the resource pool for cooperating in processing cases. But this was not secure. Now, with the lab’s converged resource pool, it is easy to communicate with different police forces in real time, and ensure secure and timely case investigations.

    Police officers’ work efficiency and methods also have changed. In the past, each civilian police officer investigated many small cases at the same time. Before they successfully wrapped up these cases, it was hard for them to investigate new cases, which created a bottleneck that slowed investigations. What’s more, if incidents occurred over a period of time, crime scenes and clues might be destroyed. Now, the joint operations lab can improve internal mechanisms and help to rapidly solve many cases.

    The report from the local Chongqing Morning News shows that the closure rate of cases in Fuling in 2016 increased by 33.18 percent, robberies decreased by 37.29 percent, snatch-and-run cases decreased by 66.67 percent, and thefts decreased by 47.52 percent compared to 2013. Additionally, according to data released by the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Chongqing Municipal Committee and Chongqing Comprehensive Governance Committee Office, Chongqing residents’ sense of security was 95.36 percent in 2016, while in Fuling it was 96.14 percent.

    Creating Ecosystems of Services and Vendors

    After building the unified platform, Fuling spared no effort to construct an ecosystem to support centralized platforms, data, and services. The agency also needed an open ecosystem of potential vendors.

    To be blunt, the reason is that while the public security industry understands services, it does not understand technologies. Meanwhile, ICT vendors master technologies but do not understand public security services. After the joint operations lab was put in place, it was possible to combine services and technologies, and make great progress. However, another problem appeared. Fuling collaborates with 29 ICT vendors, and most vendors’ systems are incompatible: they aren’t ‘open.’ How did Fuling integrate these systems into the platform?

    The Fuling Public Security Bureau chose Huawei, a long-term, trusted partner, as the platform vendor and asked the company to lead a conference of all Fuling vendors to establish an open platform based on unified standards and best practices. The goal was to be able to include all vendors and their products.

    In terms of technology, the Fuling Public Security Bureau:

  • Not only constructed a converged resource pool to integrate heterogeneous computing and network resources — especially storage resources — onto a single platform
  • But also adapted the platform to cloud requirements that combine the sensitivity of a private cloud and the agility of a public cloud
  • Huawei is a solutions vendor that understands both hardware and cloud platforms. For example, the Fuling Public Security Bureau’s video-based surveillance system was developed based on a Huawei solution. In addition, Huawei has products that are compatible with other vendors’ products and solutions, and uses its global influence to unify its partners. Huawei satisfies all these requirements based on its influence in the industry and vast experience with Safe Cities solutions.

    The Fuling Public Security Bureau plans to establish a public security ecosystem to combine all vendors’ applications for collaborative development. Interconnected applications and shared data are a must. Only in this way can Fuling build a cooperative public security system, develop unified, converged Big Data, and move toward Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations.

    At present, with the joint operations lab, Fuling is establishing more joint innovation centers with different vendors. About 30 vendors are taking part. The vendors divide experimental networks based on their specific features, and implement technologies and devices to solve current problems. The joint operations lab conducts exercises in simulated scenarios with the objective of collaborating to improve products. As a result, vendors gradually develop different ways of exploring products and base their developments on the ‘Internet+’ model. This enables vendors to continuously advance and construct a collaborative public security framework integrated with a mature architecture. With this framework, it will be not difficult to develop ICT applications.

    In the next few months, Fuling will increase infrastructure construction and work to continuously improve the operations system. Fuling will converge data systems and develop AI systems on the basic platform. For this next phase, Fuling will broaden the scope of sharing Big Data by connecting tens of thousands of cameras in urban areas and converging several major database resources with other public security systems. After the platform for converged technical data is in place, Fuling will converge infrastructure, applications, and technologies. Data will not stay only at the back end; it also will go to the front end for the creation of new services.

    Fuling also will view these technologies from the service perspective to achieve higher levels of collaboration — ensuring that each module works well with the joint operations lab and that all converged applications have high value.

    In conclusion, Fuling will actively embrace Big Data to achieve these goals. The cloud is driving the emergence of new mechanisms. Meanwhile, AI applications are on the doorstep. All of these drivers will push the reformation of police force capability strategies, initiate convergence of policing mechanisms and modern technical applications, and continuously improve the ability to fight crime.

    Huawei’s Key Solutions

  • Huawei Policing Cloud Solution
  • Huawei Intelligent Surveillance Solution
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