New Crimefighting Tool: Smart Phones

City of Carlsbad Police officers are using specially equipped smart phones to take photos, record and file evidence, and consult national databases while still in the field. Such tools speed crime-solving and make officers more efficient. The applications are all approved by regional agencies and the US Justice Department.

Smart phones have used facial and fingerprint recognition software for years, and it makes sense to employ that same technology to help solve crimes. Crime suspects may not want to reveal their true identities, and fingerprint and facial recognition software makes it possible for officers to identify suspects who don’t want to be known.

Police consult databases regularly to gather information, and now Carlsbad Police officers can use their smart phones to consult several databases – national, state and regional – simultaneously, all from the field. Such capability gives an officer quick access to vital information.

Officers can also take photos or record information in the field and expeditiously upload the information to the Police Department’s evidence management system. The smart phones use a secure link, to prevent a data breach.

Another use of smart phones is their connectivity with police officers’ body cameras. When confronted with a potentially dangerous situation, officers can remove and use their body cameras to transmit what they see to another officer’s smart phone, like virtual periscopes. This technology enables officers to view a threatening situation without exposing themselves to danger.

Smart phones are constantly evolving, and more capabilities and features are introduced with each generation. The City of Carlsbad will continue to be innovative in the way we equip our first responders with tools and technology that allows them to provide the best possible service to the community of Carlsbad.