Smartphones are increasingly becoming a key tool for public safety officers to access computer-aided dispatch and other critical information in the field. But could today’s powerful smartphones eventually replace in-vehicle laptops and other computer terminals within the department?

At the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Philadelphia, I asked that question of three public safety technology experts: City of Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug, law enforcement veteran Dale Stockton, and Samsung’s Jan Ruderman.

In particular, we discussed the potential of Samsung’s DeX, a docking station that allows the smartphone to be extended into a desktop experience, to replace the in-vehicle computer and streamline public safety workflows in the field.

“DeX is really an opportunity for us to provide an improved workflow for the officer,” explained Ruderman, Samsung’s public safety practice leader. “At the end of the shift when the officer has reports to write, today they’ll be limited to their vehicle for the most part. With the DeX solution, they can complete reports in the vehicle or they can take their smartphone from the DeX station in the vehicle, return to the department and dock in again at a shared DeX terminal.”

Haug believed another benefit of a smartphone-powered in-vehicle computer is the cost savings for IT, achieved by reducing the number of devices issued to officers. “I really believe that the smartphone is going to be the tool that the law enforcement officer has — it can do [both] the computing and the communicating for the officer in the field.”

For Stockton, providing access to computer-aided dispatch (CAD) outside of the vehicle is key to empowering officers in the field. “When you have a device like DeX that gives you access within the vehicle and allows you to take that access outside the vehicle, now you no longer anchor the officer to the vehicle. Most police leaders today are saying get out of the vehicle and engage with the public.”

Learn more about Samsung’s mobile solutions for public safety.

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Natalie Zfat

Natalie Zfat is a social media entrepreneur and Forbes Contributor who has partnered with some of the most iconic brands in the world, including Rolling Stone, Food Network, American Express and Levi’s. Curating original content and videos, Zfat gains millions of impressions for the brands she advocates for. When she's not engaging with her half a million followers, Zfat loves sharing her entrepreneurial thought leadership at conferences and universities, including Carnegie Mellon, NYU Stern School of Business, The Harvard Club of New York and Internet of Things World. Follow Natalie on Twitter: @NatalieZfat

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