I just interviewed Sergeant Sheree Briscoe along with Gayle Guildford, Director of MIS, both from Baltimore Police Department. They are here at the BlackBerry WES2010 event to talk about their experiences implementing PocketCop.
PocketCop, as you might expect, is a mobile policing system based on the BlackBerry platform. PocketCop is provided by InterAct. The system essentially puts all policing information at the fingertips of officers on the beat. Before PocketCop, officers had to request information either by calling and communicating with Dispatch (a time consuming approach) or by using the in-vehicle laptop system (useful, but prevents officers from getting out on the streets).
Gayle and Sheree talked on camera about their experiences with PocketCop and to say they are delighted with the system is, perhaps, a massive understatement. They described how they issued Blackberry devices to 80 officers as test — and feedback proved so positive that they recently issued 2,000 more BlackBerries to officers.
I love this. I think it’s a brilliant, brilliant use of technology. Sheree — a sworn officer herself — described on camera how the BlackBerry based service makes things so much easier for officers on the beat. Indeed it helps them get back into the community rather than having to stay glued to their cars — and the system enables Dispatch to track the officer’s physical location as well. The implications for officer safety are profound. No longer does Dispatch have to keep on asking ‘where are you’ to an officer in harm’s way. And from a basic productivity perspective, officers are able to query drivers licenses (complete with photos), most wanted lists, car number plate lookups and so on. Plus, of course, they’ve got a messaging device too so they can stay in touch with control easily.
I’ll be bringing you this interview in the next day or so hopefully. Just need to get the time to get it off the camera and up. Really, really smart use of mobile technology.