Mobile Apps Give Police Real-time Information in the Field for Better Decision Making

We’re all used to accessing task-specific mobile apps to accomplish our business on the go. Law enforcement has caught onto this trend, too, and now mobile apps are at the core of field work, improving incident management, investigations and more.

One of the biggest benefits of this trend for law enforcement is that officers can use police department data and resources without being tied to a single location. This capability gives any law enforcement agency a huge advantage because response to events and coordinating and deploying resources can be expedited.

Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS), part of the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada, is a clear example of how the move to mobile technology is making law enforcement agencies more effective. HRPS uses Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure’s Intergraph Computer-Aided Dispatch (I/CAD) for call-handling, dispatching and field communications. To further improve its field operations, the policing agency deployed Intergraph Mobile Responder, which gives field personnel access to CAD information and workflows via a mobile app. HRPS has deployed more than 200 smartphones and tablets with Intergraph Mobile Responder.

According to Joseph Glover, Police Analytics Coordinator for HRPS, “Intergraph Mobile Responder allows us to collect information from officers essentially who are not in patrol cars. That allows us to have people sign in and out of events, and it allows us to know where they are.” Glover continued, “We can push analytical data out to them as well as collect information along new data streams.”

The police service’s workflow-specific apps have also garnered high praise from HRPS Constable Marc Taraso. The constable works in one of the police service’s community mobilization units, where he must manage multiple community concerns and incidents. Constable Taraso said, “[They] have taken all that data and structured it for me so I have a one-stop location where I can see the information I need. I can go through it in a much more timely fashion and make sure the items that need to be addressed are addressed accordingly. I’m essentially a fully functioning police officer with all the data I would have in the car now on my cell phone as well.”

What’s more, Intergraph Mobile Responder keeps officers in the field safe,especially during incident response. Let’s say Constable Taraso needs to order a traffic stop.  “If I want to retrieve the information that I’ve sent, I can read this on my phone,” the constable said. “I can update the dispatcher with my location just by typing it in or use the GPS feature and the dispatcher knows where I am all the time. This gives me a bigger sense of safety. If something should happen to me, they (dispatchers) can find me if they need to.”

Demand for mobile technology and the specific solutions it can provide to law enforcement will only grow. Agencies like Halton Regional Police Service will benefit thanks to the positive return on investmentin task-specific, work-flow specific mobile solutions. Expect to see more law enforcement agencies deploy an ecosystem of apps to meet the tailored needs of patrol officers, investigators, and others, which ultimately will make these departments more efficient and their communities safer.

If you are interested in learning more about HRPS and their use of mobile solutions, check out this video.

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