The increase of technology is quickly changing the way police forces run operations, and improving communication is one of the biggest challenges. Officers across the U.S. are benefiting from new 800 MHz radios that use smaller and lighter batteries that can keep personnel on their feet and connected throughout their shift, reported Police Magazine.
"On the upside, each officer is now identified by dispatch by his or her radio," said Mike Cochran, chief of the South Carolina-based Hanahan Police Department, the source cited.
Communication technology is also changing the way officers spread information to local residents about incidents such as missing persons, natural disasters or even escaped convicts. PA-assisted announcements or door-to-door notifications are a thing of the past. Many residents and officers have smartphones and mobile devices that can instantly receive detailed information about potential threats, the source reported.
Cloud-based technology is allowing police stations to communicate faster by providing images, text and audio notifications that can be sent out to other devices. According to the source, using these devices to improve communication allows officers to dedicate more time to resolve crimes instead of handling marginal issues.
Documenting, Reporting and Ticketing Wirelessly
According to Police Magazine, mobile devices let law enforcement personnel easily file reports while in the field, taking up less of their time needing to type reports.
Ticketing can get tricky for officers who travel across multiple counties. New mobile technology allows officers to electronically submit tickets to the appropriate courthouse, and police personnel no longer have to mail paper copies to violators. Rich Waite, a member of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife said paper copies don't "disappear" in the mail anymore, reported Police Magazine.
In Kitsap County, Wash., the sheriff's department implemented new in-car mobile computers to help officers respond to crimes faster, reported the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal.
"Having computer and Internet access in the field has made a world of difference in wildlife enforcement," Waite said, according to Police Magazine. "Instead of arbitrarily picking a vehicle and hoping it might lead to a case, we can run license plates, the license status of the drivers, whether they have already checked in their quota limits, etc. It's far from foolproof, but it helps quite a bit on picking a vehicle to sit on [than] to wait for hunters to come out."