Safer Streets Through Technology
Safer Streets Through Technology.
Officer Sandra Post had worked in the police force for five years. During that period, she had handled almost everything, including catching reckless speeders and trying to keep her cool whilst waiting for the crucial information from the dispatcher in a heated situation. The waiting bit would usually take around 20 minutes. She had almost got used to it but always wondered how many calls she could actually respond to if handling every current case would not take an extra 30 minutes. Some years ago, on a scorching summer morning, Sandra arrived at work to discover that due to a new e-police system, a mobile workstation and a positioning device were installed into her car. That became the day she would never forget.
That morning she got her first call of an erratic driver on the outskirts of the city. Sandra and her partner caught up with him very quickly but after having pulled him over, the driver announced of having lost his backpack – together with his sunglasses, flip-flops and his wallet. He had no license on him, no ID – nothing which would help Sandra identify the man or his vehicle. It was a perfect chance to put the e-police system to the test. Typing the vehicle’s number plate into the workstation gave Sandra instant access to different databases, including the Population Register and the Motor Vehicle Registration Center, all yielding crucial and necessary data. Within seconds, she was able to identify the car’s owner, to compare him with his photo from the database, to get a confirmation that the car was not stolen and also that the driver’s license had been suspended. There was no extra waiting involved – everything Sandra needed to know became available to her in two seconds. Now she had more time to help ordinary citizens.
Already during that afternoon, Sandra and her partner pulled over four speeders and answered a complaint on a burglary, handling all cases in record time. Early in the evening, the dispatcher was noticed of a woman and her 10-year-old daughter having been injured in a traffic accident. The positioning system tracked Sandra’s car to be the closest to the accident scene and just in four minutes, they were already administering the necessary first aid to the shaken mother and her child. Luckily, the passengers were not badly injured but they might have not been so lucky if Sandra had not arrived quickly enough or she would have been in the dark about her actual vicinity. For Sandra, working without the life-saving e-police system was turning into an old and fading memory on that very spot.
With quicker response times, Sandra knows that she and her colleagues can help more people within each day. With an overall online access to 12 state databases and 3 international ones, the e-police system gives various service departments instant access to the critical information whilst on duty and also ables them to make in-depth inquiries taking more time. The amount of data obtainable from any database and the access levels depend on the specifics of the service department and on the rank of the officers.
There are 110 patrol cars online for every day of the week, performing 17 000 queries per day. The positioning system tells the headquarters the status and the location of the patrol cars – so the closest ones to the emergency scenes can arrive within minutes. For the people and for the police force, this meansfaster emergency response times, decreased road fatalities and increased police credibility. Since the e-Police system was introduced, a significant decrease has taken place in driving over the allowed speed limit or without a valid driving license or insurance. For the police, it means faster and deeper data checks, handling more reports on each hour of the day and performing hundreds of more look-ups on vehicles each month. And for everyone, this means an increase in safety on and off the roads.