NSW Police buys 500 Samsung Galaxy smartphones

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NSW Police buys 500 Samsung Galaxy smartphones
NSW Police demonstrate the new devices

Trials progress to expanded rollout.

NSW Police has rolled out 500 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphones to frontline officers after testing a variety of different devices over the past two years.

The phones have been given to both operational police within local area commands as well as specialist units such as the dog and mounted units and domestic and family violence team.

Officers will be able to access the central nervous system of NSW Police, its core COPS database, to perform background checks on vehicles and persons of interest from the devices.

NSW Police started trialling mobile devices in 2013 to inform its first mobility strategy and give police more time on the beat and less in the office.

The project also involved the development of back-end web services using HTML5 to support mobile interaction with systems like the COPS platform.

NSW Police CIO Chris Robson has previously indicated that he was looking into deploying a secure container on the end user's device to isolate and secure data.

The force today confirmed its IT team will have the ability to remotely wipe data stored on the new phones in the event any are lost or stolen.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the mobility capability would allow officers to be more efficient, and also improve their safety while undertaking their daily duties.

“Policing can be a dangerous job and this device means officers can perform checks on the spot and gain operational information that could prove pertinent during high-risk situations," Scipione said in a statement.

“The device will also save officers time by streamlining their daily duties as it eliminates the need for officers to return to their vehicle to access information."

The force has spent the last few years working on upgrading its 20-year old mainframe-based COPS system to modernise the platform and allow it to better integrate with other systems.

The system is core to the daily life of the force - it is used to log events and admissions into custody, gather intelligence, lay charges, issue infringements, record bail decisions and apply for protection orders.

The modernisation drive will eventually see all of COPS migrated off the mainframe and onto J2EE and HTML5 technology. 

NSW's compatriots in Queensland have been trialling Apple devices equipped with a home-grown app over the last few years to allow frontline police to access several databases while on the road.

The state force also last year expanded its iPad fleet to 1250 for the purposes of the Brisbane G20. The Newman LNP government had promised to add another 5400 devices in January this year, but was defeated at the subsequent election.

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