A law enforcement officer using a PDA.
Through the efforts of ARJIS, officers in the field have almost instant access to law enforcement databases and photos.
PDA for Law Enforcement
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The Automated Regional Justice Information System (ARJIS), a San Diego-based information-sharing warehouse supporting 75 law enforcement agencies, will release an additional 350 handheld computers to Southern California terrorism liaison officers. The handhelds will be deployed in 50-unit batches beginning this month.
Agencies choose their terrorism liaison officers, who work closely with terrorism investigations, explains ARJIS Executive Director Pam Scanlon. The handhelds will instantly network these officers and with various law enforcement databases, and this is a real boost to their investigations.
This batch of ARJIS handhelds will be the first to be GPS-enabled.
Officers will be able to see where their backup is, where their partner is, and they ll have instant access to maps, says Scanlon.
ARJIS has deployed handhelds to selected officers throughout San Diego and Imperial counties. The program s success has created demand for the distribution of more PDAs.
We target investigators for deploying these, says Scanlon. Typically, they don t have access to a computer in the field, only a radio. These handhelds have access to 12 data management systems and photographic records, so investigating officers can almost instantly make a positive or a negative ID.
The ARJIS program, which began in 2003 with DHS funding, has developed the handhelds on select, security-enabled platforms imagine an iPhone created specifically for law enforcement that provide officers in the field with information quickly. The program involves agencies from the federal to the local level that share information across levels with the sworn officers in the program.
This technology was designed by the officers themselves, says Scanlon. We have eight committees who work on constantly improving our technologies.
So how fast are the handhelds?
We return data to the handhelds faster than dispatch most of the time, says Information Systems Specialist II John Garcia. Guys in the field run tests races they call them between these and dispatch. The handhelds always win, and speed is critical for officer safety.
By the end of the year, ARJIS expects to have deployed approximately 700 PDAs. Unfortunately, there aren t enough to keep up with demand, says Scanlon. But ARJIS works hard to keep the devices coming.
This is only the beginning, she adds.