Gone are the days of field officers and first responders being disconnected from dispatch the moment they step foot on the ground. Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile technologies have extended the response and work capabilities of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics – becoming essential to how first responders deliver service.
With smartphones and handheld devices, cumbersome administrative tasks like dispatch updates, records keeping, and citations can be quickly accomplished from virtually anywhere. These devices improve access to vital information as well as the accuracy of information captured during an incident. The result is faster communication, streamlined workflows, and a more connected lifeline between the field and dispatch.
As a public safety mobile apps product manager for Hexagon’s Safety & Infrastructure division, it has been my experience that mobile devices like smartphones also enable officers to spend less time in the station and vehicle, and more time in the community. The more time officers spend visibly in the community, the greater the feeling of safety for its residents. While making citizens feel safe is an important benefit that mobile technologies offer, there’s are other important operational benefits that mobile brings to an agency.
In partnership with the New Zealand Police, I helped to build and deploy a revolutionary mobile application for public safety, which was designed to provide unified access to information and reporting capabilities from and into various police systems. The application allows officers to easily receive alerts, view information, update statuses, complete paperwork, and attach multimedia files directly from their mobile devices in the field without having to return to the station.
Since New Zealand Police has moved to handheld mobile devices in the field, the agency has seen many inspiring benefits. Police officers are starting more reports in the field, which reduces paperwork and improves data quality. Officers are experiencing one hour per shift in productivity savings, citation error rates have decreased by 40 percent, and there has been a 400 percent increase in requests from the field to use the agency’s intelligence system.
For more information on how our mobile technologies can improve efficiency across your agency, download the e-book, "Advancing Policing Through Technology ". Or if you’re attending the International Chiefs of Police 2018 next week in Orlando, Florida, stop by booth 1101 and take a demo of our mobile public safety solutions.
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.