SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Earlier this month, S.F. Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Attorney General Kamala Harris launched the JusticeMobile mobile application. On Sept. 9 they jointly announced that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is the first police department in the State of California to launch JusticeMobile law enforcement data initiative on a smartphone. SFPD’s Technology Division joined forces with the Mayor’s Office, the California Department of Justice and technology companies through the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation (sf.citi) to develop the first smartphone in the country to contain local, state and federal law enforcement data.
The JusticeMobile smartphones will be in the hands of all San Francisco police officers assigned to San Francisco streets by the end of the year.
“San Francisco’s men and women in uniform need 21st Century tools to keep our City safe,” said Mayor Lee. “This is a game changer. Under the leadership of Attorney General Harris, SFPD and sf.citi, the JusticeMobile smartphones give officers on the streets instant access to law enforcement data where information in real time counts. The City’s violent crime rates are now at historic lows and implementing innovative crime prevention strategies like this will help keep San Francisco as one of the safest big cities in America.”
“We have mobile apps for everything from banking to board games on our phones. But, incredibly, law enforcement hasn’t had the tools to access important criminal justice information on handhelds and tablets until now,” said Attorney General Harris. “JusticeMobile is a quantum leap forward for public and peace officer safety, and it demonstrates our commitment to facilitating the adoption of new technology by law enforcement. I thank Mayor Lee and Chief Suhr for their partnership on this important project.”
JusticeMobile gives law enforcement agents, for the first time, secure and immediate access to state and federal criminal justice information. Until now, officers have had to use a phone or radio to contact personnel to conduct background checks. The JusticeMobile initiative provides law enforcement agents with secure mobile access to the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS), which includes various statewide law enforcement databases, on mobile devices. JusticeMobile contains the state system and data records used by law enforcement to record, solve, and manage crime including booking photos, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records and criminal histories.
JusticeMobile employs many rigorous security standards, including: strong password requirements, a Virtual Private Network requiring two-factor authorization, encryption, limits on downloads and backup/syncing and prohibiting copying or screen captures.
JusticeMobile was tested over the past five months by more than 600 SFPD officers. Now, JusticeMobile is being rolled out to all SFPD officers, giving them access to internal SFPD, California DOJ and federal law enforcement databases. JusticeMobile will soon be available to law enforcement agencies across the State. The Los Angeles Police Department plans to equip 3,600 officers with the technology.
The JusticeMobile smartphones have been in pilot since June 2013 and are now being rolled out to the City’s Police Stations. The rollout will be complete before the end of 2013. Early feedback from the pilot has shown that JusticeMobile is the best practical technology SFPD has issued in decades. This innovation moves the SFPD toward being a technology leader in the area of law enforcement. Future capabilities for the devices will include location reports to alert officers to previous crimes in locations to which they are dispatched, real time viewing of crimes in progress for businesses who subscribe to alerts-driven 911 calls, GPS-enabled alerts for suspects in the area where officers are patrolling and other capabilities in development.
“Talk about loving when a plan comes together, and I want to acknowledge the vision of Mayor Lee, Attorney General Kamala Harris, the Police Commission, and sf.citi in moving this initiative forward,” said SFPD Chief Greg Suhr. “That vision, coupled with the tenacity of SFPD CIO Susan Giffin and her award winning team, San Francisco will be a safer place because it’s a smarter place. This is the force multiplier SFPD has been working toward. In this case, some of San Francisco’s finest citizens came together to give “San Francisco’s Finest” a 21st century tool that will go a long way towards making the City the safest big city in the country.”
SFPD officers using the devices are able to identify suspects, search decades of police incident data, document crime scenes, and take video and audio accounts of crimes – then upload them at the touch of a button for sharing and mapping department wide. Every 911 call made will be accessible instantly on the device. Officers responding to the scene of a crime can do an instant search on suspect description or crime type to see if other similar crimes have occurred in the same area recently. No longer will officers need to drive back to a police station to do look ups and find information to help solve a crime – they can remain in the streets helping our citizens remain safe.