Rugged Handheld Tablets Help Arizona DPS Increase Efficiency, Safety

With the help of industrial-grade mobile tablet computers, officers of the Arizona Department of Public Safety are increasing operational efficiency and officer safety.

Tasked with enforcing the state’s traffic and criminal laws across more than 6,000 miles of state and federal highways, the 780-person strong Highway Patrol of the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) handles more than half a million traffic stops, thousands of traffic collisions, countless requests for motorist assistance and other calls for service each year. [pullquote]”Not only did the H2 give us all the benefits of mobile reporting, it gives us the officer safety element.”[/pullquote]

For an officer in the field, efficiency is a safety imperative. Research has shown that for every minute a police officer is on the roadside with a traffic incident, the probability of a secondary collision occurring increases by 2.8 percent. By this estimate, every 36 minutes of roadside time for an officer may result in a secondary collision, which tends to be more severe than the original incident.

The Arizona DPS sought to adopt a technology solution for its Highway Patrol fleet that could deliver the mobility, processing power and interoperability officers need to do their jobs in the field, while also reducing opportunities for a dangerous and potentially fatal secondary crash to occur. Having used Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers to improve officer safety and mobility since 2000, Arizona DPS Capt. Jeff King chose to expand his department’s existing deployment with Panasonic Toughbook H2 handheld tablet PCs.

“The innovation is always there, and the willingness to make things work,” he said.

By mounting its Toughbook H2 tablets with Panasonic Personal Display Removable Computer (PDRC) keyboards, the department’s mobile units are now also able to double as a mobile digital computer (MDC) and as a handheld, allowing officers to quickly complete mobile reporting tasks right at the point of interaction with motorists, without having to return to their cruisers.

“Not only did the H2 give us all the benefits of mobile reporting, it gives us the officer safety element,” King said. “It speeds up data collection so officers are not on the roadside as long. Every single minute we can shave off is a huge safety benefit.”

As a result of deploying the Toughbook H2 solution, the Arizona Highway Patrol officers are now able to perform tasks more efficiently and accurately, ultimately saving time, and potentially, lives.

To learn more about the Arizona DPS’s Toughbook deployment, download the full case study from the Panasonic Solutions for Business website.