Blue Line

Features Technology
The connected officer


November 29, 2021
By Brittani Schroeder and Paul Edwards

Topics
Photo credit: Samsung, Belleville Police Service

The law enforcement industry is very remote in nature. Therefore, increasing the usability of police officers’ mobile devices is vital from an operational standpoint. Officers who are equipped with Galaxy smartphones with built-in Samsung DeX are given an opportunity to do more with their handhelds, as the software enables them to complete work that could previously only be done at headquarters on a traditional computer, on the road instead.

Samsung DeX is a software application built into the latest Samsung Galaxy mobile devices that enables officers to extend their smartphone or tablet into a desktop-like computing experience.

The software can be used in a variety of modes: directly on-screen with a keyboard case; on a connected monitor alongside an external keyboard and mouse; on a connected PC; or wirelessly cast to a Smart-Monitor or SmartTV. When the software is triggered on a the mobile device, officers are presented with a familiar desktop experience, with resizable windows, drag-and-drop functionality, and the keyboard shortcuts familiar to PC users.

The importance of use in law enforcement

This type of technology is a solution for officers and other first responders whose work is often conducted on the road or in-vehicle. Apart from a DeX-enabled mobile device and the necessary peripherals, all that’s needed to get started is an HDMI adapter or cable.

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The software also helps to increase the usability of the industry-specific, mobile applications housed on officers’ smartphones. By connecting their mobile device to a monitor inside their vehicles, the applications are blown up on a larger screen – allowing the officers to use them more efficiently than on a smaller, handheld device.

How does this software enable officers to do their jobs in new ways? First, by getting administrative work done remotely, instead of having to return to headquarters to finish it. For example, officers can now record witness statements, or capture images on their mobile device, and use the software to work with the data in-vehicle in a new way, ultimately saving them travel time.

It also offers officers and members of law enforcement improved access to critical 911 call information, the records management database and any other business applications that are loaded onto their smartphones. Having these applications enlarged on a screen inside the police vehicle lets the officers obtain the information they need more easily. This not only helps to reduce radio traffic – because it lessens the need to contact dispatch for information – but also helps speed up incident response times, in some cases.

This technology is a solution for officers and other first responders whose work is often conducted on the road or in-vehicle.

Case study: Belleville Police Service

The Belleville Police Service (BPS) was the first Canadian police department to utilize this technology built into their smartphones to improve their operations. After noticing some inefficiencies in their information-sharing processes, the service decided to undergo a significant technology upgrade project with the goal of enhancing the way officers retrieved and managed information. One of the biggest gaps to be addressed was a lack of technology within officers’ patrol vehicles.

As more law enforcement industry specific mobile applications were being utilized, officers found they were using their mobile devices more frequently. Being able to access the dispatch records management system on their phones gave them the ability to retrieve dispatch and database information independently. This is where the Samsung DeX entered the scene.

“A lot of the times when I’m outside of the vehicle responding to a domestic scene, I’ll take my phone with me to take a witness statement or capture images. When I get back into the car, I can pop the phone back into the dock and trigger DeX to download and work with that data in an easier, more intuitive way,” said Constable Jordan Wells, BPS. Before this software introduction, Wells found working on a small mobile device hard, as the “small screen made it difficult to interact with the apps”.1

Joe Myderwyk, Systems Network Administrator, BPS, notes that this new capability “aligns with the Service’s end goal of making officers more efficient on the road. As an industry, law enforcement is on the cusp of a new, tech-focused era, one that is being fuelled by the smartphone, and new technologies like DeX.”

Reference

  1. Belleville Police Service. “Case Study: How Samsung Mobile Technology Is Fuelling A New Era of Connected Officer.” Samsung Newsroom Canada. October 2021.

Editor’s Note: Gamber-Johnson LLC provided the mounting hardware for the police vehicle technology, shown in the picture above.


Paul Edwards is Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Mobility at Samsung Canada.


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