A mobile-first approach enhances police operations
With mobile devices tapping into its police-only internet, the Lenexa Police Department can log and share data quicker as well as track crime trends and officer locations for more efficient police responses.
One Kansas police department enhances officer workflow using department-issued smartphones and an intranet to facilitate data sharing, location services and communications among staff.
More than 10 years ago, the Lenexa Police Department developed the PDWeb application, which hosts data and resources that officers can leverage on and off duty. Since its inception, the platform continues to improve situational awareness and operational efficiency, LPD Chief of Police Dawn Layman said during GCN’s Public Safety Workshop on April 4.
PDWeb is available on smartphones, tablets and in-car computers and is secured with multifactor authentication, she told GCN.
“We’ve really tried … creating a one-stop shop for everything, so we don’t have to go to multiple places. All of our information is here,” Layman said during the presentation.
PDWeb gives officers real-time access to agency policies, procedures, scheduling, databases, crime analysis and other resources for more efficient emergency responses. For example, PDWeb enables officers to tap into security cameras in Lenexa to view footage before arriving at a scene for increased preparedness and situational awareness, she said.
Lenexa police can also access vital documentation to assist responses. An officer responding to a mental health-related call can use PDWeb to reference the department’s protocols on interacting with an individual experiencing a mental health crisis, Layman said. “If somebody needed to know exactly what steps to follow, they can pull it up on their mobile device.”
PDWeb includes various GIS-enabled maps that track traffic patterns as well as crime trends such as auto, financial and property crimes. Officer locations are also shared via PDWeb, so supervisors can stay abreast of who is responding to what calls.
The platform also allows supervisors to conduct daily electronic roll calls, which entails assigning shifts, reviewing what happened in previous patrols and identifying what to look out for during incoming shifts, Layman said.
“In the past, we would have printed these out and just put them on a roll call board,” she said. With PDWeb, “[officers] don’t have to walk into dispatch and get that board. They can just log in and see what occurred on their days off or what occurred the shift before them.”
Though PDWeb has made significant strides since it launched in 2009, there is still room for enhancement. For instance, LPD is working on implementing cellphone-enabled digital ticketing so that officers don’t have to rely on their in-car devices to issue tickets, Layman said.
“We’re taking advantage of the technology,” she said.