Smartphones have been around for years. However, the New York Police Department started issuing smartphones and email addresses to its officers in 2015. But what kind of smartphone did the NYPD choose? It’s not the latest iPhone or the Google Pixel. As reported by CNET, the NYPD opted for Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL as its crime-fighting phone units.
Its decision to go with the mobile operating system from Microsoft can be surprising to some of you. After all, the US market share of Windows Phone is only 2.3 percent. It’s nothing compared to the 65.2 percent share of Android and 30.9 percent for iOS’.
But the NYPD looked closely at those other two platforms before choosing Windows. For them, Windows phones offer better security features and remote management. By choosing Windows Phone, the New York City Police can work with Microsoft in creating specific apps designed for the said department.
One of those apps is 911. It allows the officers to get 911 calls directly, rather than receiving the reports from their dispatchers. Because of the app, the department’s response times for crimes have been decreased to 12 percent compared to last year’s statistics.
The Windows app designed for NYPD allow officers to perform everything, from filling and filing a report. They can also stay up to date on the department’s policies.
Before the smartphones were issued, NYPD officers did not have any work email or phone number that they could give to people who might need assistance or make a follow-up incident. At that time, NYPD officers were not allowed to give their personal contact information to victims. Thus, victims had to call the department and leave their message. That made their offices less accessible to the public.
After switching to smartphones, the NYPD has already seen tangible benefits. For example, they can solve crimes quickly. The smartphones have also helped them in improving their community relations as folks can directly reach out to them for assistance. Unfortunately, the switch did produce headaches because of damaged phones or lost devices. The NYPD reported that a handful of Windows phones are lost each week. Some officers are also worried that they are being tracked through their smartphones.
Despite that, every NYPD officer has a Windows Phone smartphone. The department is also planning to upgrade to Windows 10 mobile device next year. In addition to Windows Phone’s security features, the committee chose this platform over the two largest mobile platforms because of its battery life and processor speed.
Apart from 911, Microsoft also developed Search app for officers. It is an app that allows NYPD officers to browse names, license plates and other details stored in the police database. You can call it as NYPD’s Google.
Another useful app of NYPD is the crime information center. It’s a bulletin board with missing persons and safety alerts. During a burglary, the suspects were caught after a precinct commander used the app to tell all officers within the area to look for a white van.
Other apps would include messaging, DD5, Forms, and NYPD U.