Tucked in with their Tasers and service weapons, some District of Columbia police officers are now sporting iPhones. An initiative spearheaded by Vivek Kundra, chief technology officer for D.C., is putting Apple’s smartphone — along with Panasonic Toughbook laptops — into the hands of public safety responders in a bid to make it easier for the police force to respond to incidents and process crime reports, reports the Washington Post. Police officers can use the iPhone to run traffic checks, track patrol routes and better respond to incidents.
“We are trying to create a cultural shift in public safety needs,” he says. “The idea is to change from using radios and simple data devices to something that can facilitate real-time and two-way information exchange.” Kundra says he zeroed on iPhones after testing devices from Samsung, Nokia and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. The D.C. government has been testing the iPhones since Apple launched a beta program for the device among enterprises. About 75 iPhones are being used in the areas of public safety, education and healthcare. Kundra says he realized consumer technologies have greater use for public deployment than expensive enterprise solutions because they are easy to use and are low cost.