Since 2005, Memphis police officers have used smartphones to write and read reports, see suspect photos and information, and take pictures of evidence. The better the technology got, the smaller the devices became, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Now they’re about half the size of the originals, which led patrol officers to squint, fumble and even worse, make mistakes, police officials said. Officers complained about the Lilliputian keyboards, said Maj. Jim Harvey, police technology manager.
Now the department has found an 8-inch laptop look-alike called the Redfly Mobile Companion. The devices have no hard drive or memory, but they don’t need it, since they piggyback on the smartphones by a wireless link or USB cable. “This, in essence, becomes a miniature laptop,” said officer Patrick Twele, 38. Officers can see what they’re typing, they’re making fewer mistakes, and they’re quicker on the draw, too. The department bought 1,200 of the devices at $165 apiece and began issuing them around the first of the year.