There was a time not long ago when law enforcement officers would receive information by logging onto a secure computer at the station, through their MDT, or through their dispatcher who worked out of the main station. There were no smartphones, tablets, laptops, or CAD systems in law enforcement. But today, with the rapid advancements in technology, more officers are realizing the benefits of having their CAD and police dispatch software connected with their mobile devices and working in the cloud. Let’s look at some of these benefits.
Officers can stay connected even when not in their stations or vehicles when using their smartphones or other mobile technology. They can access important information using law enforcement dispatch software, have private communications with fellow officers and law enforcement officials, and access departmental resources. At their fingertips, they have access to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Police National Database (PND), and the Police National Computer (PNC). Of course, access to these databases will depend on which country they are working in. Working in the cloud enables an officer to be able to upload and store large amounts of data from a mobile device, dictate and submit reports from any location, and access information from several databases at once.
Issue Electronic Citations
With the development of mobile electronic citations, or e-citations, officers can issue citations quicker and with greater accuracy. It eliminates the monotony of physically writing tickets and the mountains of paperwork associated with them. Fewer mistakes are made meaning less citations getting kicked out of court for inaccuracies. The most important benefit of e-citations is the improvement of officer safety with less time being spent on a traffic stop and out of patrol vehicles.
When law enforcement officers are in a situation where there is a language barrier and no interpreter is readily available, there are many language translation apps that can help the officers and the subject to communicate. These apps are cloud-based and can be used even without an internet connection. There are many languages to choose from, and you can type in what you want to translate or speak into the microphone and say what you want to say, and it will translate for you. This can be done by both parties, and while not all apps will provide 100% accurate translation, it breaks the language barrier and provides the officer with the information they would not have been able to understand without this technology.
Automated License Plate Recognition
Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) is a system that combines cameras, character recognition software, and data processors. When ALPR is added to mobile devices, officers have the power to scan license plates when needed. This helps officers to be more responsive and productive in the field, by reducing the amount of time spent communicating with the dispatcher and manually entering data to retrieve the license information. This scanned information is linked with police and motor vehicle databases to provide officers with up to date information in the field. ALPR was once used only for scanning license plates, tracking stolen vehicles, and running a vehicle’s registration. However, a recent survey that was conducted on behalf of Vigilant Solutions found that the ALPR technology has directly, or indirectly, assisted law enforcement in solving other crimes as well. These crimes include child abduction, rape, murder, and terrorism.
Driver’s License Scanning
The greatest benefit of using mobile ID scanners is the same as e-citations, improvement of officer safety. Law enforcement officers can scan an ID, quickly process the documentation, and get back in their vehicles. These mobile scanners have 100% accuracy in capturing the driver’s license data and are run against databases, including suspended licenses. Other added benefits are the reduction of paperwork and processes are streamlined using mobile scanners.
Prior to the use of biometrics by law enforcement, breaking the law and escaping or dodging officers was much easier. With the use of modern technology, criminals can change their looks, make counterfeit documents, create fake identities, and anything else that is necessary to evade the law. But the law also has the benefit of modern technology that aids in the capture and arrest of these criminals. By using biometrics, officers can identify individuals through facial recognition, iris scanning, fingerprinting, voice analysis, and DNA profiling. Law enforcement relies heavily on the accurate identification of a person which can be done with these technologies.
Another benefit officers are finding using mobile technology is the ease of breathalyzing a suspect. By using a handheld breathalyzer that connects to their phone by Bluetooth, the breathalyzer app works by measuring a suspect’s eye movements and computing their BAC. This can be done on the spot with quick, accurate results, and decreases the amount of time the officer is on the stop.
More officers are realizing how mobile and cloud technologies can provide them with new, more effective and adaptable ways to manage their investigations and operations. By utilizing their existing infrastructures and internet connections, law enforcement personnel are integrating cloud technologies and realizing their valuable benefits. Whether it be using biometrics to identify an individual, tapping into local and international databases, or improving the safety of officers, cloud and mobile technologies offer many important tools and benefits to officers everywhere.