NYPD app (Image: NYT) Image: NYT

Android app arms police with real-time data

Some 400 police officers in New York have been equipped with Android smartphones and a new crime-fighting Android app under a pilot scheme, the New York Times reports.

The app is designed to give officers the ability to run person and address searches, bringing in information from several different sources. Officers can look up police records on individuals, including photos, and access vehicle registration records. The app is also fully location-aware -- NYPD officer Tom Donaldson told the NYT “If I see that in the last month, there have been six arrests on the seventh floor for drug trafficking, maybe I want to hang out on the seventh floor for a while.”

Police would previously have had to rely on cumbersome laptop-based systems in their patrol cars to retrieve this info, or radio details back to a dispatcher. The app, officers tell the NYT, offers a much easier way to access this data. Donaldson explains, “Our dispatcher will tell us if they have a warrant or not but it’s a simple yes or no answer. I don’t know if the guy is wanted for murder or for not paying a parking summons. We rarely know. Now we know.”

Source: The New York Times; via: The Verge