South Australia Police will embark on a 12 month trial of tablets from February next year to simplify the process of entering and retrieving data from police systems.
The South Australian government has allocated $1.7 million for the trial following a proposal from the state’s police force.
The trial will run in the Elizabeth local service area and will be used by 350 operational police.
The SA Police is yet to decide which vendor’s products it will use for the trial. It cited use of Apple iPads in the New Zealand police force and Acer Iconia tablets by Tasmanian compatriots.
The force hopes the use of tablets will save time by allowing police to capture, retrieve and submit information on location instead of having to go back to base.
Premier Jay Weatherill said in a statement the productivity saving equated to around an extra 64 officers on the beat.
“It is estimated this will save a total of 366 hours per day of productivity time for our frontline police or $7.3 million per annum," he said.
SA Police is one of the last state police agencies to trial a mobile strategy.
Queensland Police is testing a range of Apple mobile devices and an internally developed application which allows officers to access three internal databases that are normally only accessible back at base.
The pilot will last three to six months and spans 50 officers. Queensland Police will submit a business case to the state government for a wider rollout at the end of this year.
NSW Police recently kicked off its year-long trial of a mix of Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry devices to make officers more effective at their jobs as well as safer in the field.
The Tasmanian police force in May started trialling 40 3G-capable tablets as part of a new mobility strategy, which also saw Wi-Fi implemented at frontline stations and desktops replaced by laptops at country stations.
Victoria Police is yet to comment on its mobile strategy.