A Philadelphia initiative called FastFWD is seeking entrepreneurial start-ups to work on public safety issues, reports WHYY Radio. “They can supply the technology, the innovation and the imagination — and they could also develop their own markets,” said Lou Giorla, the city’s commissioner of prisons. Giorla, with the city’s police chief, deputy fire chief and other public safety officials, voiced what they hope to see from the FastFWD initiative.
Giorla wants technological tools in the fight against recidivism. Think better monitoring devices or check-in kiosks instead of visits to the parole office. “If we’re not as efficient as we can be, then no one’s going to want to live here,” he said. Ten startups will be brought to Philadelphia in February for a 12-week accelerator program administered by GoodCompany Ventures. After that, the city of Philadelphia will put a handful of those solutions to the test via pilot programs. “Recidivism and violent crime and vacant land,” said Story Bellows, co-director of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, offering up a few areas FastFWD hopes to target.