The question is this: After a police officer responds to a crime, do you want that officer to stay out on the street or go back to the police station for a few hours? The mayor and police chief would very much like to see their officers stay out in the community and on Monday, they released some new technology that will help them do just that.
With the new technology, officers will be able to file their police reports while they're out in the field. It's not as easy as typing something up quickly on a phone and sending it in because the Department of Justice has specific security rules about who can see what information, and they have to comply with those rules.
Still, they think they've got it figured out and they estimate their officers will be out in the field three to four more hours a day. We'll be making our police reports in living rooms, restaurants, at picnic tables, or whatever. So, we'll be out and available while we're doing our reporting which is a way more efficient way to do it," Police Chief Greg Suhr said.
The current recruiting class attended Monday's announcement. This class will be the first to train on the equipment and the first to use it. For now, they will be learning on laptops while the finishing touches are put on the app, but the hope us that they will eventually be able to use tablet or even phones to file their reports. The class graduates in six months and they hope the technology will be ready for them to take into the field by then.
The San Francisco Police Department is down about 200 officers, so Chief Suhr is very excited because he says anytime there are more police officers in the streets, the better it is for the city. The app was made possible by donations from HP and SF CITI, the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation.