A mobile-first strategy improves critical communications among first responders, who need every second when lives are on the line.
Mobile-first is the trend driving law enforcement technology today. In the mobile-first world, officers in the field can access the same quality and depth of data that has formerly required logging into an in-vehicle laptop, from real-time computer aided dispatch (CAD), to interactive maps and records management.
Caliber Public Safety of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been pioneering mobile-first solutions for law enforcement for over 17 years. “Since the days of the Palm Pilot PDA, our goal has been to get data to officers no matter where they are,” said Todd Thompson, Caliber’s VP of strategic development. “We now do this for a full range of mobile devices through our software-as-a-service offerings.”
These mobile offerings include:
- Caliber’s PocketCop® app, which is also optimized for the Samsung DeX in-vehicle computing platform
- The cloud-based Records Management System (RMS)
- Mobile CAD enabled by PocketCop, which can deliver alerts directly to Samsung Galaxy smartwatches
The Power of PocketCop
PocketCop is a powerful mobile app that connects field officers to everything their dispatch systems have to offer. With PocketCop on their smartphones or tablets, officers have access to Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) data sources — local (DMV), state and National Crime Information Center (NCIC) — their own dispatch centers, and secure text messaging with other officers and commanders.
“The app provides a broad set of functionalities to law enforcement officers in the field,” said Rachel Ferguson, Caliber’s director of product development for CAD and mobility solutions. With PocketCop onboard, officers can use their smartphone cameras to scan barcodes on drivers’ licenses, view and update the department’s active calls and incident details, and assign themselves to incidents in progress.
Officers can also mark on-screen maps with information and interact with other logged-in users whose current statuses are displayed onscreen. At the same time, PocketCop sends each officer’s GPS coordinates back to dispatch on an ongoing basis for increased visibility, and enables officers to capture photos and videos for sharing with other PocketCop users and dispatch.
Add the Power of DeX
To further boost PocketCop’s functionality, Caliber recently optimized PocketCop for Samsung DeX, which enables officers to use Samsung Galaxy smartphones as their primary computing devices in the vehicle and back at the station. In the car, an officer can plug their smartphone into a dash-mounted monitor, keyboard and touchpad for a full laptop computer experience, without the laptop. When it’s time to leave the car, the officer simply undocks their smartphone and uses it in the field to take photos, record video interviews and access everything else offered by PocketCop.
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“We have adjusted the PocketCop app to make it work really smoothly with DeX,” said Ferguson. “When you use DeX in the field on your smartphone, it is a very touchscreen-based experience. But dock the smartphone into the monitor, keyboard and mouse, and it performs more like a standard desktop application.”
Secure Records in the Cloud
Quick, reliable access to records is a must for mobile-first policing. Caliber’s Records Management System (RMS) is a cloud-based platform that is as accessible on a smartphone as it is on a desktop computer. The system uses a web browser interface and requires no equipment to be installed at the department’s premises.
Caliber RMS is built on security. Not only are its records access and storage functions CJIS-compliant, but Caliber’s RMS database is hosted in secure facilities at the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (Nlets) interstate justice and public safety network. “We see CJIS compliance as fundamental,” said Thompson. “This is why all of our products meet CJIS security standards, from encrypting all of our communications to wiping any CJIS data that had been accessed from the mobile device’s memory every time the user logs off.”
CAD on Your Wrist
One of Caliber’s most exciting mobile products is its provision of CAD data to Samsung Galaxy smartwatches. Delivered via the PocketCop app, the smartwatch integration allows officers to track their real-time locations, change their operational status on-screen and view be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) and other alerts as they are issued. Officers can do this just by looking at their smartwatches, with their smartphones tucked away in their pockets.
“If you are assigned to an incident via your Galaxy smartwatch, you can tap an on-screen button to let dispatch know you’re on your way,” said Ferguson. “It’s fast and it lets the officer stand heads up and hands-free. That’s huge.”
The Future Is Mobile-First
Caliber Public Service is committed to providing leading-edge mobile capabilities for law enforcement, and their future road map includes wearable applications and other connected technologies that officers can use to do their jobs anywhere. “It’s really starting to take off now,” said Ferguson. “This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the use cases for mobile-first in law enforcement technology. And, having started 17 years ago with PDAs, we’re very excited to finally be at this stage.”
For more information about opportunities to leverage technology as a force multiplier, visit Samsung’s Mobile First Responders solutions page. Department leaders who want to learn more about the advantages and capabilities offered by Samsung DeX should review the white paper, Bringing Mobile First to Public Safety.