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Public Safety Primer on Cloud Technology

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2016
20 pages
Publication Series

The purpose of this informational document is to provide introductory guidance for the public safety community about cloud technology and the services it can provide, to answer common questions, and to provide guidance for considering contracts with cloud vendors.


This document provides a basic introduction to cloud technology, its target audience is the public safety community, and its goal is to provide guidance for considering contracts with cloud vendors. The document provides answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs), a glossary of terms, and additional resources for public safety agencies seeking to learn more about cloud technology. The FAQ section provides answers to the following questions: what the cloud is; how it is used; how the cloud might help public safety agencies; if agency information in the cloud is secure; how agencies can retain control over their information; how public safety agencies can ensure chain of custody of their data while using the cloud; what services are offered by cloud vendors; whether an agency should take preliminary steps before contacting a vendor or creating a request for proposal or information (RFP/RFI); whether agencies should require vendors to meet certain qualifications via contract or service level agreements (SLAs); and who is responsible for privacy and how it can be protected in the cloud.

Date Published: October 1, 2016