Smarter beat on street

Po­lice em­brace tech­nol­ogy to fight crime

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By CHE BAKER

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.

Photo: CHE BAKER 627957846

Us­ing the force: Con­sta­ble Rhys Tait,

of Alexan­dra, holds his iPad and iPhone, which al­low him to ac­cess po­lice data­base sys­tems while on

patrol.

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