Campus Safety Services is planning to introduce a new program that will equip police officers with Samsung Galaxy tablets after CSS began experimenting with such a program in February.
Acting Executive Director of CSS Charlie Leone said this technological addition is meant to advance the department in a multitude of sectors, including paperwork, identification and monitoring of personnel.
CSS purchased 50 of the new tablets at a cost of $450 each, for a total of $22,500. In addition, CSS will pay Verizon Communications, Inc. $50 a month in service fees.
“You write about 20,000 reports per year,” Leone said, adding that during the process, reports often have to be sent back to officers for clarification or missing information.
Leone said with the use of the tablets officers will have the ability to complete reports in the field and send them to supervisors instantly. If the supervisor finds the report unsatisfactory, it is sent back to alert the officer that the report needs improvement.
Leone said the tablets will also reduce paper trails involving confidential information.
“It goes straight into our database, it’s not just sitting there for everybody to see, nothing stays on the tablet” he said.
Systems administrator Edda Bejarano-Lewis added that all information would be wiped from the tablet at the end of the shift in order to keep information secure.
The tablets are also to be used for fast identification of suspects and stolen items while in the field, Leone said.
“If we had an incident on campus and we got a picture from one of our cameras and you’re looking for someone, the way it happens now is that you put a description out over the radio,” Leone said. “Now they can take a snapshot from over the camera and push it out over the tablets.”
Lewis said the tablets can also be used for the surveillance of CSS’s own officers.
“The supervisors now have the ability to check and see their officers to make sure that all of their tasks have been completed,” she said. “If they have not, the supervisors can actually see it and send them a little alert.”
The tablets were expected to make their campus debut earlier this year, however Lewis said testing and the return of students elongated the timeline.
“It was a problem with timing. One of the safety features of having the tablets is a private IP and that is also a program that telecomm network services is running with Verizon, and it came too close to the move-in date. Once move-in comes in , we make no changes, the whole time is dedicate to the students,” she said
Both Lewis and Leone said they are eager for the release of tablets and look forward to the improvements it will make in the efficiency of the CSS team.
“It’s going to be neat seeing all of the tablets out. When people see us out there they are going to be like “What are they doing, are they playing on the Internet?” I guess it’ll take a little while for the culture to change,” Leone said, smiling. “I don’t think too many other departments are doing this.”
Cindy Stansbury can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.