Smarter beat on street
Police embrace technology to fight crime
Central Otago police have joined the smart world through the nationwide police Mobility Rollout, the biggest technological change in the force since typewriters were decommissioned. Constable Dean Schroder, of Cromwell, become the first officer at the station to be issued with an iPhone and iPad. ‘‘This type of equipment is a giant leap forward for the New Zealand police and is one of the biggest changes to how we do things since swapping manual typewriters for computers in the 1980s,’’ he said. After initially ‘‘feeling a little daunted’’ said he had begun to master the smart devices with a helping hand from his teenage sons. The smart devices, which could be remotely shut down, wiped and tracked should someone other than police obtain them, allowed information to be directly input into police intelligence systems and eliminated the need to spend hours typing forms at the station. It was expected to save 30 minutes per officer per shift. Constable Rhys Tait, of Alexandra, said it was easier to identify people with the new devices and harder for people to lie about who they were. They would also shorten response times, as jobs could be assigned more easily, he said. The initial cost of the national rollout is $4.3 million and over the next 12 years police will spend $159 million in operating expenditure to fund the technology rollout.
Using the force: Constable Rhys Tait,
of Alexandra, holds his iPad and iPhone, which allow him to access police database systems while on