Redlands is test bed for turning iPhone into crime fighting tool
(Redlands, CA) – The Redlands Police Department is helping to develop a new law enforcement specific application for the iPhone, thanks to a grant from the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.
On Oct. 5, the Redlands City Council voted to accept the two-year, $473,161 NIJ cooperative agreement to develop an iPhone based crime mapping application for law enforcement.
The Redlands Police Department will partner with David Weisburd at George Mason University near Washington, D.C. to ensure that the evaluation of the application is conducted in a scientifically rigorous manner. Researchers from Temple University, the Police Executive Research Forum and John Jay College of Criminal Justice will also provide assistance.
The advent and rise of computerized crime mapping and analysis techniques has gone a long way toward developing analytic capabilities within police departments. These tools, however, have often focused on desktop users or have been distributed in formats incompatible with the highly mobile nature of law enforcement.
The research project seeks to turn the iPhone into a powerful tool that will give officers the ability to more quickly identify and react to changing crime trends, identify crime hot spots and share criminal intelligence information more easily while in the field. This program will take advantage of the enhanced multimedia capabilities of the iPhone to address the intelligence needs of law enforcement officers.
This project will be carried out and managed by the Redlands Police Department in several phases over two years, evaluating the data and analytic tools needed by officers; developing software in conjunction with The Omega Group, an industry leader in providing mapping and analytic capabilities to law enforcement; installing software and training officers; and assessing the use of the software and the fitness of the iPhone for law enforcement use.
Ultimately the project is intended to provide the National Institute of Justice and law enforcement agencies around the country with a crime mapping and analysis application that turns the iPhone into a mobile analytic tool and a detailed report on how specific law enforcement needs can be met with an iPhone based solution.