Costly, high-tech tools such as robots and body cameras make headlines, but lower-cost, widely available apps are also changing the way law enforcement officers work in the field. These highly affordable breakthroughs are enhancing safety, streamlining operations and increasing intelligence all for the price of a download on a smartphone or iPad.
As law enforcement apps become more popular with those on the beat, the number of available downloads is growing. Here is a look at just a few of the most popular downloadable tools available to police officers today:
With the first 48 hours after a crime often the most crucial for investigators, the need to speed up crime scene processing is evident. Processing a crime scene, however, is a lengthy, tedious job that must be handled manually, often costing departments at least 24 of those 48 hours.
Enter CrimePad. This iPad app was created by Visionations with help from an FBI trainer and forensic scientist. It’s meant to speed up crime scene processing without losing sight of the precision required in the process.
In use in local departments in Tennessee, California and Virginia, this app is a work-in-progress, but it’s showing value in removing some of the tedious work while enabling crime scene investigators to focus on solving cases.
This app offers hundreds of pages of information that officers can use to help them in the field, such as accident investigation formulas and case law. In addition, it offers training videos and an ability to snap photos with date/time stamps and GPS location for fast evidence collection.
This free app enables users to create their own heat maps for potential crime hot spots. Essentially, it assists officers in determining where resources should be deployed, based on past criminal patterns.
This Android app provides law enforcement officers the ability to ensure proper procedures and followed in the field. It details federal rules for easy access on the go when going by the book is critical.
Police Spanish Guide
Helping break down the language barrier in the field, this Android app enables police to practice their Spanish for better interaction with residents. It also offers a number of translated phrase topics especially important to police, such as booking statements, medical phrases, Miranda rights and more.
This tool makes shift scheduling easier for commanders while helping individual officers keep up with their schedules. It’s designed specifically to help agencies that use repeating shifts enhance communication about schedules, which squads work together and vacations while providing tools for sharing other critical shift information.
STING stands for Shared Tactical Intelligence. This app enables users to better coordinate live operations. Meant to improve situational awareness for personnel taking part in an operation, the app has a number of features that allow users to provide real-time information to those in the field, such as mapping, radar and notebook tools.