Windows-based devices are typically used behind the counter in public safety services such as police, fire & rescue, and ambulance agencies. Usually in the form of desktop PC’s and servers. It’s not until recently did public safety agencies embrace mobile devices for use by front-line officers.
As part of a new initiative to bring mobile communication devices to the police force, the New York Police Department have announced that they have secured $160m in funds from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to acquire up to 41,000 mobile devices to be distributed to police officers. These devices include smartphones and tablet computers as can be seen in the image below.
“This significant investment will immeasurably enhance law enforcement and the criminal justice system, not only in Manhattan, but throughout the City. By allocating funds secured as a result of criminal misconduct back into our communities, we are placing real-time data in the hands of every police officer”, said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
These devices will provide the department with enhanced patrol efficiencies, giving patrol officies better search capabilities when accessing NYPD databases. Mobile devices will also give officers the ability to enter reports while on patrol without having to return to the precinct, making better use of their time when not responding to crimes. The devices will also allow them to get real-time 911 data, resulting in swifter response times without waiting to be dispatched by radio.
“We must have 21st century tools to deal with 21st century threats, and this infusion of new resources will arm our officers with the technology and information they need to fight crime and protect the City against terrorism more efficiently and more effectively,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Detectives on the field will also take advantage of smartphones and tablets since they can now access investigative databases that can be updated on the fly. Officers will be able to receive wanted posters, Amber alerts and missing persons photos immediately, and now that the force is going digital (and mobile) the possibilities are endless. Although this also means that the NYPD will be more susceptible to cyber-attacks.