Tag: police technology

Wearable technology gets a shot in the arm from Penn Hills police

New cameras in police cars in the municipality in Pennsylvania could bring wearables to officers.

Police cars in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania are now being outfitted with cameras, leading some to believe that this may be the first major step toward the use of wearable technology by officers in the area.

Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton has submitted a request for the funds necessary for 20 vehicle cameras.

This would provide in-car camera technology for 20 vehicles used by his officers. The request was made for the funding to be worked into the municipal budget for 2016. According to Burton, the estimated cost for the 20 cameras is around $144,000. Though the cars driven by police officers have already been outfitted with cameras, that technology is rapidly becoming outdated and Burton feels that the police and the people in Penn Hills would be better served if the tech was replaced by new ones compatible with wearable technology.

That said, while they would be wearable technology compatible, there are no immediate intentions for wearables.

Wearable Technology - PoliceFor example, Burton specifically pointed out that there aren’t any plans to outfit officers with wearables that would record audio or video. He explained that “I think this is the direction everyone is moving in.”

He also said that there are a range of issues that have yet to be ironed out by legislators when it comes to laws surrounding practices such as wiretapping and the length of time that wearable camera videos should be stored by police departments. Also being discussed are concerns regarding the affordability of storing recorded videos from wearables and the ways in which requests for those stored videos should be handled while the incident in question is still under investigation.

Pennsylvania laws do not contain any specific regulation against the use of cameras in wearable technology, but Harrisburg legislators are currently considering a bill that would create a wire tap law amendment that would then make it possible for police to record video while within homes, but would also be able to stop public access to whatever was recorded by that wearable equipment.

Mobile technology helps police issue tickets more quickly

Several departments have been upgrading their systems so that e-citations can be issued for traffic violations.

Issuing the traditional type of traffic ticket can take a tremendous amount of time, but with the use of mobile technology, several police departments have been making it possible to speed up the process by quite a bit.

The idea will help to save time for the officers and will make the process at least a sliver less painful for drivers.

According to the clerk of the Circuit Court for DuPage County in Illinois, Chris Kachiroubas, the average amount of time that is required for a police officer to pull over an offender, speak to him or her at the side of the road and then return to the cruiser in order to write the ticket is eighteen minutes. After that, the officer is required to send the ticket to the office of the clerk, where other employees must enter it into the system. A court date must be issued and a notice must be mailed to the offender. It takes a full 10 days before the offender will even learn what his or her court date will be. By that point, the date could be within two weeks. To speed up the process, many departments have looked to mobile technology.

Using mobile technology has made it possible to skip many of the manual processes involved in issuing tickets.

Mobile Technology - PoliceBy using mobile devices as a part of the traffic enforcement process, it becomes possible to issue e-citations. That has reduced the average amount of time required to create the ticket from having been 18 minutes to a much smaller 6 minutes, said Kachiroubas.

The new system allows a police officer to use a handheld mobile device or laptop in order to scan the driver’s license of the person who has been pulled over. The information on the license automatically populates the digital ticket so that it does not need to be entered manually. The officer can then select the offence(s) and that information is automatically entered into the system of the police department and the country. A court date is automatically generated.

The mobile technology device of the police officer is connected to a special printer located within the cruiser so that the ticket can be printed out, including the court date for the offender.