Baltimore, MD to issue Blackberry phones to ALL Police Officers
I received a Google News Alert that caught my attention. Normally I brush off Google Alerts but I had to read this one. Baltimore, Maryland, the city that is considered to be ONE of thee most violent cities in the Nation, is now issuing their police officers a Blackberry phone. The concept behind this is that officers use their patrol car as their 'office'. The laptop connects them to the information they need. Well, what is an officer to do when he or she is running down some thief who just stole a Storm 2 from a Verizon store and needs to confirm that this was the perpetrator? Before they would have to walk him back to the car, then jump on the trusty ol' laptop and push a few buttons and then you get your information. Not anymore. All they have to do now is have the 'thief' strike a pose and snap a picture with their new Blackberry phone and send an MMS to another officer who happens to be at the Verizon store with the manager and then confirms that the picture is indeed, the thief. In all seriousness now, the city approved 5.2 million dollars to purchase 2,000 BB's for what they are calling "Pocket Cops". The article continues to say
"Officers using Pocket Cops made twice as many arrests over a 3-month period than those equipped with radios or laptops, according to statistics provided by the department. They also hauled in more offenders on outstanding warrants."
The city says that this investment will save the city money. Only image I have in my head right now is seeing an officer running after some one then stopping so he can do a battery pull because his phone froze trying to do a picture of the runner. Being a fellow LEO, I really don't see how this could help officers as much as they are claiming. This will def be an interesting test. You're giving police officers a Blackberry phone who currently have a laptop equipped to surf the net in their car...I believe the below banner will explain.