Exploring New Technologies for LAPD
Posted by Mitchell Englander on July 03, 2015 at 12:00 PM
This week, I submitted a motion requesting the Los Angeles Police Department report on the feasibility of using a mobile app to expedite and automate police reporting, similar to the one being utilized by the Palm Springs Police Department.
When police officers respond to a scene of the crime, they are responsible for completing paper forms that document what occurred at the scene. Police officers may have to complete 50 to 60 forms depending on the type of incident. In addition to being time consuming, paper forms are costly for police departments. However, technology may be able to reduce the need for paper forms, and in turn, create efficiencies in police reporting.
The Palm Springs Police Department recently piloted the use of a new mobile app called SceneDoc. This app securely digitizes paperwork and slashes reporting time for incidents. The mobile app takes the paper forms and populates them into a mobile dashboard. The officers can open the app on their mobile devices and access and complete the necessary forms. Police officers are also able to take pictures and record audio at the scene and add it to the case file. The date/time and GPS location of the photos and videos are automatically placed in the app's photo log.
The mobile app has transformed the Palm Springs Police Department's reporting system from a multi-step system to a single step. The Orange County District Attorney's Office, which also uses the app, stated that the County saved $80,000 in paper costs alone and $800,000 in salary costs.
The use of a mobile app would not only create efficiencies in police reporting, but would also allow police departments to keep more officers out in the field by reducing the time needed to complete the required paper forms. This is crucial for departments who may be facing issues with their staffing and who struggle to maintain a consistent level of deployment coverage.
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-Mitchell Englander, Chair of Public Safety Committee
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