A newly proposed plan would give officers the chance to use technology to keep them away from deskwork.
The Toronto Police Service in Canada is looking at using mobile police technology to digitally complete paperwork so they can stay on the beat. This has the potential to greatly reduce the amount of time an officer would need to spend at a desk, keeping him or her out in the community where a bigger difference can be made.
This use of mobile technology could allow an officer to do a great deal more in real-time from anywhere.
The goal would be to use mobile police technology so cops could receive calls, access neighborhood data while they’re on patrol, collect evidence, and even file their reports without having to return to a station or even their squad cars. The tasks could be completed in real time, wherever they happen to be.
The Toronto Police Service is hoping to have this sort of mobile device based system in place within two or three years. It would involve providing officers with smartphones and tablets. This trend is growing more commonplace among police forces in cities around the world. Still, at the moment this use of mobile devices by law enforcement officers remain in a preliminary and rather experimental level.
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There is already a certain degree of mobile police technology available to Toronto cops.
For example, vehicle-based workstations provide officers in the city with database access as well as the ability for remote report filing. That said, a report the service’s Transformational Task Force issued in January pointed out that the vehicle-based workstations simply aren’t cutting it anymore. The report said “Cars are also physical barriers that create a sense of isolation from residents.”
That said, there are also circumstances in which officers are required to travel back to their divisional stations for returning phone calls, responding to emails and filing paperwork. This removes them from their communities and patrol neighborhoods altogether.
The report argued that mobile police technology would make it possible for officers to spend more time moving throughout their communities. It would also provide them with “information and analysis that will give them a richer understanding of the city and specific neighborhoods.”