Technology influences nearly every aspect of law enforcement. For years, criminal justice agencies have used car-mounted laptops, body-cams, and now mobile devices to help keep the public safe. Making the switch to mobile devices may seem daunting at first, but mobile police software can be cost-effective and very beneficial to your agency, particularly for patrol officers and investigative units.
We’ve gathered a list of the top ten benefits of adopting mobile police software at your agency.
1. Information any time, anywhere
Going mobile can help officers access important documents, such as digital evidence, instantly.
Many of us use GPS on a daily basis right from our smartphones. But having that capability in-car (or even on horseback) can help law enforcement find a location, gather evidence and location-stamps, or aid with crash reports. Google Street View is also frequently used to get an accurate picture of an area before entering a highly volatile environment such as active shooter situation.
3. Easy to use and learn
Mobile devices allow users to access incident reports, record interviews, and capture photos no matter where they are.
4. Immediate data transmission
With a mobile-first mindset, data can be collected in the field and then immediately accessed by administration back at the office, making situations safer and more efficient.
5. Increased efficiency
Phones and tablets are substantially more reliable and efficient than, for example, radio.
6. Reduced errors
Along with efficiency comes the need to reduce errors. If a crash report is being filled out on a laptop, you can be assured that it will eliminate legibility problems that happen frequently with handwritten communications.
7. Increased collaboration
Working together with evidence, analytics, and intelligence teams from those in the field and command officers is easy when mobile software becomes integrated into the work of police departments. And most quality software applications work across devices, so you never have to worry about only being able to access information from a single device
8. Quick reference tool
Mobile phones have allowed officers to look up information about prescription drugs, identify weapons, watch a live-stream of protests or rallies to ensure safety, access vehicle codes or crime codes instantly, and look up crime bulletins and alerts easily (especially to help identify suspects).
9. Freedom of movement
The days of spending 12+ hours stuck inside a squad car are seemingly coming to an end. With mobile technology, officers or inspectors can more fluidly move around without missing out on crucial time or information. Although in-car laptops are often permanently mounted into the patrol car, tablets and phones allow officers to work from the sidewalk or anywhere else.
10. Less paper
Eliminate processing time, photocopying errors, and mailing time with software that works for your agency’s needs. As an added benefit, putting all of your agency’s documentation online also keeps officers in the field longer and command better informed, because they aren’t required to return to the station as often.
Twenty-first century policing is starting to become easier and more cost-effective as time goes on. As technology changes, so do the needs and expectations of those working in the criminal justice sector. Adopting mobile police software has a number of important benefits that can all help police departments stay on-budget, keep their officers safe, and protect their communities more efficiently.
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Original article was published on June 5, 2019. Updated for clarity and formatting on March 4, 2020.