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First responders today are heavily reliant on mobile technology. Not only does it allow for faster communication and workflow, but it acts as a lifeline between the field and dispatch.

Through handheld devices, mobility extends beyond the vehicle, making cumbersome administrative tasks—like dispatch updates, records keeping, and citations—possible from virtually anywhere. It also equips field officers with vital information in real-time; captures footage as it is happening; and leads to improved transparency and safety for officers and civilians alike.

Gone are the days when field officers were disconnected from dispatch the moment they stepped foot on the ground.  Today, access to important data about incidents, suspects and on-site hazards (as well as historical data about demographics and past incidents) is possible whether they are in the car, or chasing a suspect on foot.

Quite simply, the more connected an officer is to vital information, the better equipped he or she is to efficiently and safely apprehend perpetrators.

“Handheld mobile devices like smartphones enable officers to spend less time in the station and vehicle, and more time in the community,” says Waylon Kenning, product manager for public safety mobile apps at Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure. “The more time officers spend visibly in the community, the greater the feeling of safety for its residents.”

In other words, more field officers armed with the right tools and technology leads to faster, safer event resolution—and having one integrated system that seamlessly connects the communications centre with field personnel only enhances safety and efficiency. “It ensures that officers are not only better equipped to manage potentially dangerous situations, but that they’re better able make operational decisions at a fraction of the time,” Kenning notes.

Mobile applications provide field personnel with access to the critical data they need instantly through laptops, smartphones, and tablets. At the same time, the crime and incident analysis and mapping software enables agencies to visualize the crime scene and analyze information for crime prevention, post-incident analysis and more. Collectively, these tools help police officers access and share important data effectively, and target problem areas to improve public safety. Police and law enforcement agencies can obtain actionable information without adding more physical patrols and begin investigations in real-time while incidents are underway. They can interview witnesses, collect statements, and cover more ground in far less time.

New Zealand Police: A Case study

In partnership with Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, New Zealand Police helped to build and deploy a revolutionary police mobile application called OnDuty, which was designed to provide unified access to information and reporting capabilities from and into various police systems. The application allows officers to easily receive alerts, view information, update statuses, complete paperwork, and attach multimedia files from their mobile devices in the field without having to return to the station.

Since New Zealand Police moved to handheld field reporting, they’ve seen a number of inspiring benefits. Police officers are starting more reports in the field, which reduces their paperwork and produces better data. Officers are seeing benefits of one hour per shift in productivity savings, error rates for citations reduced by 40%, and an increased number of requests from the field to their intelligence system by 400%.

Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure is in the process of bringing those benefits to all customers via its upcoming Intergraph OnDuty suite of public safety mobile apps. Stay tuned for the official release announcement in the coming months or check Hexagon’s website for a sneak peak of what’s to come.

For more information on mobile technology and your agency, download the E-book ‘Advancing Policing Through Technology’: http://go.hexagonsi.com/mobilityebook.