Sep 11 2019
Digital Workspace

Chicago PD Partners with Samsung to Give Officers More Apps on the Street

The police department is teaming with smartphone giant to turn officers' mobile devices into computers they can use in the field.

There was a time when it would have been fantastical for police officers to have laptops in their cars or smartphones on their belts. Now, however, they can have smartphones that function as computers

Last month, the Chicago Police Department began a pilot program in partnership with Samsung to do just that, and to give officers more resources while they are patrolling the Windy City’s streets. 

The CPD is testing Samsung’s DeX in-vehicle solution, which gives officers the ability to dock their Samsung Galaxy smartphones and access policing applications on a dash-mounted display and keyboard

The pilot will showcase the technology’s ability to give officers greater flexibility and the option to access CPD applications in ways they could not before

MORE FROM STATETECH: See how police departments make use of video wall technology to improve public safety. 

Chicago Police Department Aims to Give Officers Access to More Apps

Officers who use the solution will be able to access a computer-aided dispatch application and other CPD systems to conduct background checks and complete reports, according to a press release. Additionally, when officers use their smartphones to take photos and videos as evidence, they can immediately attach those media files to reports

Nearly half of all Chicago Police Department officers have department-issued Samsung smartphones already, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in the release. “The idea is to give officers everything they need to process a scene or respond to an incident in the palm of their hand,” he said.

Jonathan Lewin, chief of CPD’s Bureau of Technical Services, noted in the release that in-vehicle computing for police officers has evolved significantly over the past three decades. 

“The old computers had to stay in the cars,” he explained. “With this solution, it really creates an ecosystem that takes all the technology and makes it available to officers on the street in real time and at significantly less cost than we are paying now.”

In a case study commissioned by Samsung, the Public Safety Network estimates that shifting from rugged in-vehicle laptops to a full one-to-one deployment of Galaxy smartphones and the DeX in-vehicle solution could save agencies more than 15 percent the first year of deployment and lead to more than 32 percent in annual savings thereafter. 

At a press conference announcing the initiative, The Verge reports, Lewin said that “the system seamlessly takes an officer through the entire lifecycle of an incident” including getting dispatch assignments while officers are on the street, conducting name checks, vehicle checks and starting incident reports

The pilot program will launch in the city’s 11th District, according to ABC7 Chicago, and by the end of the year, all officers in the district will be using the technology.

DeX also offers the ability to view, tilt, pan and zoom on the district’s security cameras, and lets officers view mapping data to see if an incident is part of a trend.


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