The CIO Show: NSW Police's CIO Gordon Dunsford on digital crime fighting

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Gordon Dunsford, CIO at NSW Police is without a doubt one of the most fascinating tech leaders around. 

After becoming the agency’s first ever CIO just over three years ago, Dunsford and his team have transformed what was essentially a paper-based organisation, utterly bogged in endless inefficient manual processes, hardly any communication between IT and police officers and senior management, and no cloud services, to be the envy of every police force in the world.

It’s no wonder then he placed third in the 2020 CIO50.

gordon dunsford NSW Police

Gordon Dunsford

Tech is now an integral part of policing in Australia’s largest and most populous state, with Dunsford and his team now viewed as an integral resource for the force, frequently brought in to work directly on investigations.

For instance, Dunsford discusses how AI and ML are being deployed to impressive effect, including enabling police to create identities and control voice bots designed to fool paedophiles into thinking they’re interacting with potential victims.

And he explains how these same technologies are being used to automate the task of wading through mindboggling volumes of CCTV, body worn video (BWV), and other footage, such as occurred with the tracking, arrest and investigation of psychiatric hospital escapee – terrorist imposter – Mert Ney in 2019.

When Dunsford started, the force hadn’t event started its journey to the cloud, and last year became one of the last organisations in the world to finally close Lotus Notes, while striving to phase out ‘sticky notes.'

Now it boasts one of the most efficient registers for tracking, storing and retrieving everything from firearms to DNA.

Today, NSW police are significantly better organised, more effective and safer in the field, thanks to a range of digital projects successfully deployed over the past few years, including creating the patrol cars of the future.

Unsurprisingly, Dunsford and his team are now increasingly being asked to host delegations of senior law enforcement officials from around the world eager to emulate their success.

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