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Public safety officials are in a fierce search for applications that will help them with their tasks. The forces also need to be compact and effective, because of their already-heavy and clumsy equipment. For this purpose, a new generation of smartwatches is giving police a practical wearable option, offering the versatility of the apps in a convenient form factor.
According to insights.com, the average officer on the beat may carry a total weight of 30 pounds in equipment. While officers want the benefits of mobile law enforcement technology, they need them to be delivered in a discreet and easily managed physical format. Wrist-worn devices meet that need.
The technology ranges in use from data collection to productivity. For example, apps like US Cop can help police street officers immediately recall important information, such as accident investigation info, brake efficiency; narrative templates; different tire size speed calculator; LiDAR (distance measuring by laser) test instructions, training articles, drug and chemical identifiers, law resources etc.
Other reference tools help them translate key ideas and phrases between English and Spanish, allowing them to communicate more effectively in an increasingly multilingual landscape. Vocabulary tools assist with everything from routine traffic stops to more serious situations, such as lost or missing children and domestic disputes. Crime Scene Tracker app allows users to add hints or evidence from crime scenes and allocate GPS coordinates, photos or descriptions to them. The data collected can be shown within GoogleMaps, shared with colleagues, generate PDF files etc. In addition to crime scenes, the app can be useful also for recording places of accidents, customers and gas tanks, geocaching and locations, and more.
There are also first-aid apps, such as First Aid by American Red Cross, that include illustrated instructions along with text to deliver step-by-step information for first responders, and pharmaceutical-related apps can assist with pill identification and other medication issues.
Given its compact form factor and the ease with which such devices can be accessed by the user, a wrist-worn technology could come to play an especially prominent role in law enforcement technology. Despite the limited screen size of a wrist-worn device, the broad range of mobile capabilities, high rate of technology adoption and fast pace of development of new tools shows that law enforcement will soon have access to a wide array of apps to bolster effectiveness and productivity in the field.