Associate Magazine FBINAA Q2-2023

Continued from "Wichitak, Kansas Police Department", on page 19

Before having issued phones, officers had to make calls from the station or from their personal phones, and the caller ID would show as blocked or restricted. Not surprisingly, many citizens were reluctant to answer those calls. But Baird says that with the issued phones, officers have reported citizens usually pick up when they see a local number. Connectivity has been key for improving efficiency because officers no longer have to return to the station to access Wi-Fi. Tasks like uploading videos or photos and communicating with victims and witnesses are regularly handled from the field, resulting in shorter response times and improved service levels. “It’s just a lot more efficient because we have constant connectiv ity,” Baird said. OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS AND MOBILE APPLICATIONS Smartphones are now integral to daily patrol operations and the ability to quickly share information has been immensely beneficial. “The phones have played a role in helping locate missing persons in a very timely manner,” Baird said. “An officer in the field gets the information and a photo of the missing person, then sends it to the PIO [public information officer]. Even when they [the PIO] are at home, they can immediately post it to social media. There have been multiple occasions of people being found soon after the information goes out because someone saw the post.” Working in conjunction with Wichita State University, the agency developed PD Share, an application that is specifically designed to support crime and abuse victims by providing easy access to support resources. “PD Share helps get the victim in touch with a shelter or advocate,” Baird said. “The officer can pull up a QR code and the citizen can either grab it with their phone or the officer can text them the resource. It also lets the reporting of ficer easily share the case number and their contact information. It’s much more effective than a page ripped out of a field notebook and it’s more professional.” Wichita Police Department uses Flock , a powerful license plate reader system, and officers can receive real time alerts (with photo) on their phones when a vehicle of interest is spotted. They can also access additional information from the system without having to go back to their car or get on the radio.

Axon body cameras are worn by all officers, and they can use Axon View on their phones to access videos as well as apply rel evant metadata, such as a case number or category. Another app, Axon Capture , facilitates using the smartphone for evidentiary photos and videos, as well as to record audio. Officers then cat egorize and upload the files to secure storage. This can all be done from the field without the need to go back to the station, saving a great deal of time and allowing an officer to perform these tasks when information is fresh and easily remembered. Officers can also provide a link to crime victims so that they can upload home security videos or other information directly. Once uploaded, the files can be immediately reviewed and, if desired, shared with other officers or detectives. MobileDetect is a drug detection platform that permits in field testing of suspected substances including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, THC, methamphetamines, and more. An officer first uses a MobileDetect pouch that provides presumptive chemical re agent identification. The phone is then used to scan the resulting color reaction and the results are instantly available to the officer, providing a more accurate in-field presumptive test that does not require comparison with color charts or less accurate subjective analysis. IN-VEHICLE/IN-FIELD CONNECTIVITY All of Wichita Police Department’s marked units and some unmarked vehicles are equipped with mobile computer termi nals (MCTs) that rely on cellular backhaul connectivity. “We have more than 220 patrol vehicles equipped with laptop computers in our fleet,” said Baird. “Each of those MCTs has a T-Mobile SIM card installed, providing officers with connectivity to necessary data bases and criminal justice systems while in the field.” Investigators are issued laptops that also have cellular connectivity, allowing for in-field follow-up work that would otherwise require a return to the station. The road ahead – 5G and expanded mobile capabilities Baird says that the agency is going through a smartphone refresh cycle and the new phones are 5G. In addition, new laptops will all be 5G capable. The additional speed and capacity provided by 5G will result in operational benefit, according to Baird. continued on page 21

20 FBINAA.ORG | Q2 2023

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