Law Officer magazine presented its Gold Badge of Service Award to Panasonic Computer Solutions Company in October during the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference (IACP) in New Orleans, La. Established last year, the magazine s annual award recognizes a company that best demonstrates a model of commitment and service to the public safety community.
After more than 30 years of police work, I ve been involved with just about every kind of company and vendor you can imagine. I ve been extremely impressed by the level of commitment to public safety the Panasonic folks have repeatedly demonstrated. They continually model an attitude of service and support to those in public safety.
Panasonic is a very visible sponsor at major law enforcement events, particularly those involving technology, and the company has invested a lot of money in helping public safety share best practices across the market. Example: At the recent Mobile Technology Trends in Public Safety Conference held in Orlando, hundreds of public safety practitioners were provided with the latest information on emerging trends in public safety technology. Although the company could easily have made this solely a Panasonic event (it paid the bill), it provided space to other technology partners and provided informational forums where practitioners candidly shared ideas about how to best meet the needs of first responders.
I saw something happen at this event that really impressed me. Rance Poehler, president of Panasonic Computer Solutions, spent hours actively soliciting input from practitioners regarding their needs and preferences. And he provided a very candid insight to the company s future products, all the while asking the audience what they thought about the plans.
Another example: When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, one of the biggest challenges was documenting the condition of damaged structures throughout the New Orleans area. The paperwork process required by FEMA was daunting, and the small code-enforcement staff was totally overwhelmed. Accela, a public safety software company, developed an automated process that could help, but it needed computers to make it happen. According to Accela s chief technology officer, Rich Morrey, Accela asked for help from Panasonic Computer Solutions and found a willing partner. They provided a lot of computers and support with no strings attached, he says. I can t say enough about the way they helped with this effort. Together, Accela and Panasonic helped the small code enforcement staff document the conditions of more than 125,000 structures in only a few weeks, a task that was originally estimated to take several months.
A third example: Most of you know I m a big fan of the National Law Enforcement Officer s Memorial. During this year s National Police Week, Panasonic Computer Solutions pledged $1 million to support the A Day in the Life exhibit, a part of the Memorial s new Being an Officer gallery. This exhibit will help visitors to the Memorial understand the challenges faced by our nation s law enforcement officers.
Bottom line: Panasonic has continually supported the law enforcement profession and has actively worked to meet the needs of officers around the country. The company earned this award, and I m proud to have had the opportunity to present it to them. Recognizing effort and commitment that goes above and beyond is important because what gets recognized often gets repeated by others. Panasonic Computer Solutions has definitely set a standard to which others can aspire. I challenge other companies to take note of their generosity and commitment to serving those who serve.