What to Know About New Technology for Police Officers

For police officers, a laptop, handheld computer or tablet isn’t just another device – it’s a hub for mission-critical information. With mobile technologies in place – as well as the right software to support workflows – agencies can enhance officer safety, improve situational awareness and streamline communications. When it comes to selecting the right type of mobile device, each one poses unique benefits and solutions to the challenges officers face on a day-to-day basis.

You Can Get Faster Access to Data with Data-Enabled Handheld Computers

In a squad car or at the scene of an accident, connectivity is crucial. Officers need immediate access to criminal records, warrants, vehicle information and call history to effectively respond to a situation. Using handhelds to wirelessly access databases, officers can retrieve pertinent information in real time while en route or on scene. This also helps reduce time spent on labor-intensive, follow-up paperwork after an incident.


Issuing tickets and traffic citations on pen and paper can also be time-consuming – not to mention it leaves room for human error – but with a built-in barcode reader, processes can be digitalized and streamlined. Long battery life also ensures that officers can continue their shift without worrying about connecting to a charger.

The TOUGHBOOK N1 provides real-time access to data and streamlines workflows with its barcode reader, providing plenty of battery life (19 hours) to last a full shift. The TOUGHBOOK N1 was also built to be dust-, water- and extreme weather- resistant so it can withstand rain, wind and unexpected drops in the field.

A day on the job can be loud – especially with passing traffic and sirens. The TOUGHBOOK N1 has a powerful speaker with noise suppression and an echo-cancelling microphone so officers can hear dispatch clearly and know that their voices will be picked up accurately.

See More with Tablets – Live Drone Feeds, Integrated Thermal Imaging

When searching for missing persons or persons of interest, it can be difficult to cover enough ground with your resources at hand. To augment the officer resources available, many law enforcement agencies are turning to new technologies available. For example, some are deploying Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology to gather aerial images of situations, capture photos of traffic accidents for documenting purposes and search for missing persons or suspects, by scanning for body heat signatures with integrated thermal imaging technology. To control these UAVs, officers use portable and durable rugged tablets.

With the TOUGHBOOK G1, UAVs can help expand search areas and transmit critical data and information to officers on the ground. Synching mobile tablets with UAV technology can be challenging so our ProServices team conducts in-person consultations to discuss specific device needs and help streamline the activation process.

Customizable Laptops = Custom Tech for the Job

In law enforcement, your job is unlike many others, so having a laptop that is customizable, boosts safety and enhances situational awareness is critical.

With the TOUGHBOOK 55, users can swap out different tools and upgrade certain features so that if one day you need more storage for video evidence, and the next day a fingerprint reader is needed for multi-factor authentication of access to a shared device, the officer can make those changes in a matter of seconds without having to switch to a completely different computer. With expansion packs, also known as xPAKs, officers can switch up the TOUGHBOOK 55’s customizable areas based on the needs of any given moment. Expansion pack offerings that are particularly useful for officers include fingerprint readers for added security, dedicated graphics for enhanced performance and a second storage drive.

Speed Up Data Entry with Voice Technology

With a voice-to-text solution, law enforcement agencies can more efficiently complete incident reports and spend more time serving the community. Industry-leading voice-to-text software has been a game changer, allowing officers to dictate their reports into a microphone or input voice queries to search for information safely and efficiently without needing to take their eyes off the road. Taking it a step further, our ProServices team offers kitting and mounting services to ensure proper in-vehicle installation, preventing potential injury to the officer.

Not All Screens Are Created Equal

Law enforcement agencies are constantly getting feeds of information coming in from their computer aided dispatch (CAD). To help keep up, 2-in-1 detachable laptops give officers in the field the dual functionality of a tablet and a laptop capable of supporting legacy CAD applications.

The TOUGHBOOK 33’s 12” screen allows officers to have more information visible on the screen at one time and it offers readability in both light and dark settings, both of which help officers make decisions quickly. The device also gives officers the ability dock it in-vehicle for reporting purposes and offers an easily detachable screen for when an officer may need to step out of the vehicle.

Successful mobile technology deployments for police departments involve the right combination of computers, software and service support for maximum situational awareness and productivity.

To learn more, register for our upcoming webinar titled, “Streamlining Police Work – Both On and Off the Scene – With Mobile Solutions,” happening on November 10th and November 12th.