Going mobile

How mobile devices, surveillance tools and apps have changed the beat of community patrol


     "If there's a finite number of tax dollars for law enforcement … how do you use them intelligently?" says Hall. "I might spend X amount of dollars on a camera … is that a good use of dollars? And I'd say yes, because it allows the agency to monitor that additional location continuously, and then respond intelligently to an event, whether it's a high school with an active shooter or an intersection that has a lot of traffic collisions, or even a creek that has a propensity to overflow after a big storm. It's an intelligent way to be more effective."

     Even with the best technology in the world at their fingertips, it's crucial that law enforcement officers continue to get out, interact and build relationships. Citizens want to see men and women in uniform as partners in crime prevention — not just an ominous presence when something has gone wrong. Rather than isolating law enforcement, in-car computers, surveillance tools and handheld mobile devices can actually have the opposite effect. They can keep officers on the street longer, inside the neighborhoods they serve.

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