Your guide to mobilizing law enforcement

Plan and implement a mobile initiative at your agency with this practical roadmap.

Download Now
Public Safety

Mobile Policing Technology: DeX for Law Enforcement Takes In-Vehicle Computing to a New Level

Historically, law enforcement personnel have relied on a combination of phones, radios and in-vehicle laptops to access real-time information while out in the field. Yet even with technological advancements, these solutions were siloed and created a disconnected, easily interrupted workflow for users. Now, technology like Samsung DeX is making it easier than ever to connect phones to the desktop and centralize all necessary data.

Samsung introduced the concept of DeX at law enforcement tradeshows last year, and forward-thinking police leaders quickly saw the potential for their patrol vehicles. While the current usage of smartphones essentially provides full information access while outside the vehicle, DeX opens the possibility of delivering an in-vehicle computing capability by pairing the latest Galaxy smartphones with a mounted display and dedicated keyboard.

Streamlining Officer Workload

The fact that DeX pairs with an already utilitarian smartphone to provide a desktop-like experience underscores the benefit to police operations. In many agencies, officers perform tasks in the field that require documentation such as photographs, videos or voice recordings, all of which can be collected effectively using a smartphone. Having a single device for data collection and processing can simplify access, and eliminate the need to constantly switch from in-vehicle technology to the field or a desk.

After a Galaxy smartphone is placed in the DeX docking station, the smartphone functions as the vehicle’s computer and allows officers to work with a larger screen and access their phone data with a true desktop experience. DeX optimizes applications and information to make full use of a horizontal display, rather than simply stretching the smartphone interface. This makes it easier for officers to work on larger projects, such as incident reports, suspect identification or crime scene review, as there is no longer a need to try and view everything in a mobile format.

Overall, having a smartphone at the center of a workflow increases the amount of information officers can receive. Instead of relying on radio transmissions and vague descriptions, officers can obtain high-quality images, videos, detailed reports and other data mediums. This helps them accurately respond to incidents and events since some of the guesswork has been removed prior to responding.

When it comes to real-time communication, the Galaxy still functions as a phone even when it’s docked. This means that officers can easily keep up with relevant messages and emails while they’re away from headquarters and receive essential information. There is also an opportunity to increase safety by cutting down on the amount of equipment intrusion, an important consideration in a violent crash.

Keeping Department Information Safe

DeX’s benefits continue at the station. Potential organizational cost savings are significant because departments can replace traditional in-vehicle computers, which are expensive and can lots of maintenance. With the combination of smartphones and the DeX docking station, agencies can lower their upfront hardware costs and cut down on device management tools. By being able to more efficiently manage the latest devices, IT departments can minimize security vulnerabilities.

DeX gives public safety organizations the benefit of a seamless interface where information, recordings, photos and notes that are stored on the phone can be efficiently uploaded or transferred within the secure, department-controlled, CJIS-compliant records management system. Additionally, security measures are active even when the device is docked. Because Samsung smartphones are automatically equipped with Samsung Knox, the devices are able to move through these environments while keeping data inside a secure architecture that supports full interaction with criminal justice systems.

Today’s smartphones can support a wide range of police operations, and the more an officer can complete with a single device, the more they can do in the field to effectively help the community. DeX brings a whole new layer of opportunity to agencies that want to make the most of today’s technology and provide a powerful force multiplier to their field personnel.

See what ways smartphones can help improve officer safety and information access.

Posts By

Dale Stockton

Dale Stockton is a 32-year-veteran of law enforcement, having worked in all areas of police operations and retiring as a police captain from Carlsbad, California. He taught criminal justice classes for more than 20 years and is the former Editor-in-Chief of Law Officer Magazine and Stockton is the founder of Below 100, an award-winning officer-safety initiative designed to reduce police line-of-duty deaths and has been involved in the presentation of the program across North America. Stockton is an accomplished technology practitioner and has managed major technology projects for public safety including personnel-locate devices and license plate recognition systems.

View more posts by Dale Stockton