Advancements in mobile technology have benefited many industries. Police and law enforcement are no exception. With instant access to critical data, maps, records, and dispatchers, today’s officers are equipped to better manage incidents and quickly react to changing situations. Mobile technologies improve officer safety, agency workflows, productivity, and situational awareness.
Aside from the obvious benefits to officers on the frontlines, there are numerous hidden examples of where mobile solutions enhance and aid an agency’s operations and objectives. An important – and often underutilized – benefit is incident and police data.
Many police agencies are experiencing tighter budgets amid historic levels of urbanization and greater demands for service. At the same, the public expects more transparency and accountability from agencies. By understanding and using incident and police data, agency leaders can make evidence-based decisions about how to allocate resources, improve operational efficiencies, justify funding, reduce time spent on administrative tasks, and more.
There are many ways mobile solutions improve police data. Here’s a look at my top three.
1. Mobile Solutions act as a Force Multiplier
Mobile devices and applications can free officers from the confines of a precinct, giving them more time and visibility in the field to prevent and solving crimes as well as engage with the community. It’s almost like having more officer’s active all at once. Police agencies that embrace mobile technologies can dramatically cut down on the time-consuming manual processes, reduce redundancies, make better use of officers, and be more productive.
2. Mobile Solutions Reduce Errors
Whether it’s issuing traffic tickets or taking witness accounts, better evidence and information capture is the direct result of flawless data input. But the reality is, officers in the not-so-distant past were required to spend a considerable amount of time combing through hand-written information, hand-drawing diagrams, and tediously filling out reports – all with potential errors and mistakes. Mobile solutions have led to a decrease in entry errors, which speeds up incident resolution and ensures the data being collected is accurate. Data collected using mobile applications results in higher quality information than hand written tickets or reports, which helps agencies use it later for business intelligence and decision making.
3. Mobility Allows for More Information in the Field
The demand for information across the radio network often exceeds the capacity available. This means constant radio traffic for common tasks like person and vehicle lookups. These information requests can be moved from the radio and dispatcher to mobile devices. One of our Australasian customers saw a 400 percent increase in critical information queries when it moved from radio to mobile devices. This pent-up demand for information is now being easily met with mobile technologies, which frees up the radio channels for more complex and pressing tasks.
For more information on how our mobile technologies can improve efficiency across your agency, download the e-book, "Advancing Policing Through Technology."
Waylon Kenning is the product manager for handheld public safety apps within the HxGN OnCall portfolio. Based in Toronto, Canada, and originally from New Zealand, Waylon was embedded within the New Zealand Police learning real world examples of how mobility can help officers. Before Hexagon, Waylon was involved with the creation of mobile apps for one of New Zealand’s largest organizations as well as creating a mobile-focused start-up for energy companies. Outside of work, Waylon is a travel vlogger and can be found on YouTube fighting and laughing around the world with his wife, Kathryn.