Don’t expect them to be live Tweeting from an arrest, or updating the NSW Police Force’s Facebook status from a crime scene, but 500 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphones have been handed out to operational officers today as part of a pilot program that turns them into mobile police stations.
The smartphones have been given to several units, including highway patrol, transport patrol, the gang squad and domestic violence team and allow officers to access the central database to perform background checks on vehicles and persons of interest. They even include a stylus for note-taking, that converts handwriting automatically to text.
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione called the use of mobile technology a big step forward in “real-time policing”.
“Officers can perform checks on the spot and gain operational information that could prove pertinent during high-risk situations,” he said. “The device will also save officers time by streamlining their daily duties as it eliminates the need for officers to return to their vehicle to access information.”
The move comes two years after the Queensland Police first introduced iPhones and iPads. Around 2000 have now been deployed on Queensland streets.
If the smartphone is lost or stolen, data stored on it can be wiped remotely as a safeguard.