Law enforcement officers have possibly one of the most dynamic, difficult, and dangerous jobs in America. Every day, officers enter potentially hostile situations of which they have limited knowledge.
Officers need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, so they can respond to situations effectively and keep themselves and their communities safe.
The more data officers have access to in the field—and the quicker they can access it—the better equipped they are to respond to calls in the best and safest manner possible.
Knowledge is Power
Imagine this: An officer pulls a driver over, exits their vehicle, and approaches the scenario based on the knowledge of what they've observed thus far. If the person was speeding and driving recklessly, the officer can infer there is a possibility of impairment. However, without immediate access to data in the field, that is where their knowledge ends. While officers can call dispatch or connect to the radio to get more context, there is a more streamlined option to gather important information.
What if an officer had immediate access to more detailed data points? Mobile law enforcement software enables officers to instantaneously connect to the NCIC, as well as local and regional department databases. From their vehicle, officers have access to all the relevant information they will need to know in order to make a scenario as safe and efficient as possible. If a report is filed, mobile law enforcement software will auto-populate the report, meaning the officer can pay more attention to the situation and spend less time in the office after an arrest.
While every officer aims to enter each scenario with the same amount of caution, it can be difficult— nearly impossible —to maintain the same sense of urgency for each response. Having greater knowledge about the person they are about to interact with helps officers prepare for situations that are historically more likely to occur than others.
Law Enforcement Officer Safety
Law enforcement officers have an important, but stressful, job of dealing with potentially lethal danger each and every day. Their goal is to protect the community, but that means protecting themselves as well. Having mobile law enforcement software that provides officers with access to details about the scenarios they're entering can make the difference between routine calls and dangerous confrontations.
House calls are especially filled with possible unknowns for an officer. How many people will be in the household? Will there be an aggressive dog? Does the suspect have communicable diseases? Will I need to keep a wide berth? Is there risk of needles? Do they have a record of arrests or aggression? What is this person's history with law enforcement?
While an oracle that provides full knowledge of a scenario doesn't exist, there are tools that allow officers to gain quicker access to this information. Resources that provide mobile access to this information not only offer clarity but also enable officers to respond more quickly and effectively.
The outdated practice of arresting a suspect and returning to the department to book them and complete an incident report takes officers out of the field for much longer than they would like, and a lot longer than is best for the community. While reporting is integral to the criminal justice process, maintaining officer presence in the community deters crime, reduces response times, and helps to create a positive impression of the department.
Tools that allow required paperwork to be completed in the field enable officers to create and maintain that presence. Rather than returning to the office each time paperwork needs to be completed, an officer can park at a busy intersection while writing their report. Their presence in the community may discourage someone from running a red light—or, if a call comes through, the officer's response time will be significantly reduced.
Bottom line: Data accessibility in the field creates safer communities while improving officer safety.
Empower your officers with additional defenses. Mobile law enforcement software provide officers with more immediate access to data and enables them to complete reports from their squad cars. Being able to access and exchange data from the field can save officers time, save the department money, and help both maintain a stronger presence in the community.