NOTE: As of February 2013, PolicePad and FireTab are now PublicEye.
The police department of Lowell, Massachusetts will soon be using about 40 iPads loaded with Zco Corporation’s PolicePad app.
PolicePad provides access to databases of warrants, driver information, maps, and other data. The information is automatically displayed for officers when they are dispatched. Officers can also see data for the surrounding area, including police report history and possible hazards.
PolicePad replaces software running on more laptops costing as much as $5,000 each in police cruisers, but integrates with the same computer-aided dispatch back-end systems. The iPads cost closer to $700 each.
In addition to being a cheaper solution, it provides more mobility as well.
“Why would I want to put a computer in their car when they can have it in their hands?” said Lowell’s Management Information Systems Officer Craig Withycombe in an interview with the Lowell Sun. “If the car is sitting in a parking lot, the computer isn’t being used.”
The Lowell Police Department has been using about 20 iPads during the pilot development program and is about to purchase more. Police Superintendent Kenneth Lavallee said that PolicePad will be part of a presentation on innovation at the International Association of Police Chiefs convention later this year.
Other features of PolicePad include the ability to share live video from the iPad’s camera with other officers; multi-party instant messaging; evidence management; a police vehicle locator; 911 connectivity; and access to crime reports from local citizens.
Zco also develops FireTab, a complementary app for fire departments. PolicePad and FireTab can share information to enable communication between multiple first responders.
The complete Lowell Sun article is available here: http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_20988821/ipads-keep-lowell-police-touch