While most states have laws against distracting driving, it is generally agreed that public safety officials should have access to timely data and communication channels. Consequently, today’s patrol cars may serve as a high-tech mobile office, empowering officers to quickly respond to emergencies, update teams, and protect communities from virtually anywhere. However, while new technologies such as radios, cameras, and mobile computers are crucial for everyday work, they can also distract officers and put them at risk. In 2020 alone, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund recorded 156 vehicle-related deaths, which is over a third of all line-of-duty fatalities. To continue empowering police officers while keeping them safe, many agencies now seek to consolidate disparate mobile technologies. By decluttering the patrol car with versatile systems, officers can expect multiple benefits such as:
- Safe e-citation
About 25% of traffic-related fatalities occur on the roadside. E-citation reduces time spent outside the vehicle, thus maximizing officer safety. Moreover, e-citation systems decrease the likelihood of errors since it does not require manual data entry. Instead of pen-and-paper, mobile terminals and printers like Brother’s Rugged Jet 4 accelerate ticketing, reducing a 15-minute ordeal to as little as 2 minutes. Furthermore, rugged mobile printers are lightweight and compact, taking up very little space in the patrol car.
- Real-time personnel tracking
Police recruitment and retention have been cited as a prevalent issue in law enforcement facilities. Therefore, to best serve communities, dispatch offices need clear visibility and counts on deployed personnel. Mobile devices and 2-in-1 tablets running on Android for Enterprise can accommodate tracking visibility applications within Android’s open application ecosystem.
- Faster device adoption
By consolidating several devices into one platform, officers no longer need to learn multiple workflows, accelerating deployment for faster productivity. Rugged Android tablets accomplish this successfully by translating workflows and reporting onto an easy-to-use touchscreen device. More modern devices go further by streamlining photographic documentation, reporting, and secured push-to-talk communication with dispatch, all in one device.
- Better situational awareness
Intelligent mounts can keep data at a better eye level, allowing officers to utilize peripheral vision and maintain situational awareness. Not only does this maximize officer safety, but it also keeps officers ready to respond immediately to emergencies.
- Voice-enabled functions
Modernized systems now leverage voice commands, accelerating workflows while keeping drivers’ eyes on the road. Electronic assistants can retrieve data and activate the radio without jeopardizing driver safety.
- Transparent tracking
Manual systems have been found to increase the likelihood of errors and accidents. In contrast, automated systems like Wasp’s Equipment Tracking empower agencies to quickly locate essential tools, from handcuffs to police cruisers, on a digital platform. Equipped with real-time asset tracking, teams can reallocate resources to where they are needed the most and replenish any items in low quantity.
As technology continues to make great strides, public safety agencies can no longer afford to overlook patrol car optimization. To best identify how to start your optimization plan, assess your current technology with a mobility expert. After carefully evaluating your fleet’s needs, your team can follow a scalable plan that maximizes safety without disrupting workflows.