Qld Police to trial iPad mini, Police app

Summary:Queensland Police has announced a trial of its in-house-developed app for police services, alongside a preliminary rollout of iPad mini tablets.

Queensland Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey announced over the weekend that the Queensland Police Service (QPS) will be trialling its new mobile app with the iPad mini, with the trial being implemented in October.

Designed internally, the mobile program will provide officers with access to police databases.

"In October, 50 officers across the state will be issued with either a smartphone or tablet device with a custom-built Police app, which will let them instantly search person, vehicle, and address details through QPS, CrimTrac , and Department of Transport systems," Dempsey said.

The system is intended to make police work far more efficient, as officers will no longer be using the two-way radio to call an operator, who then has to record and verify the information and pass the results back to the officer.

"With the mobile system, police officers will have all that information at their fingertips, saving officers waiting time, and allowing them to move onto other jobs.

"It is hoped that by reducing the time it takes to perform searches, this Police app will save each police crew around 30 minutes each shift."

The minister said that Queensland Police recently purchased 400 iPad minis to use for testing the new system.

"The officers issued these iPads will test the functionality of a new email and mobile intranet system," he said.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart voiced his approval, saying that combined, the tablets and in-house app "will help deliver a more efficient and improved policing service to the community".

"The mobile data will help the QPS become flexible and responsive within problem areas, and also boost safety for officers.

"Being able to search the police database while on the road is of huge assistance to the service, and feedback from officers who use the technology will be invaluable."

This news follows the Tasmanian Police Force's announcement in May of a trial of 40 3G-capable tablets. Tasmanian Commissioner of Police Darren Hine said at the time that these tablets would similarly provide access to database information from the "front line", negating the need to ring headquarters for updates.

"One of the main benefits of using this more responsive technology is the amount of time it can save our officers working on the front line," Hine said at the time.

"For example, officers using these tablets will be able to submit reports live from the field, rather than having to return to the station to complete their paperwork."

Topics: Government : AU

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Corinne is sub-editor across all CBS Interactive sites, and joined the company after completing her degrees in Communications and Law, and undertaking a string of internships in law and journalism. Corinne is also a journalist for ZDNet.

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