More than 9000 iPhones and iPads Minis are now in the hands of Victorian police officers after the state’s police force completed its rollout of mobile devices ahead of schedule.
iTnews can reveal the $118 million mobile technology project was wrapped-up in April, almost two years after Victoria Police signed on with Motorola Solution for deployment.
The project forms a major component of the force’s $227 million blue connect program, which has also funded a new intelligence management platform to the tune of $103 million.
Victoria Police first went to market for 8500 mobile devices in July 2016 as part of an end-to-end mobility solution. Apple devices were preferred at the time due to their certification by the Australian Signals Directorate.
While the devices were expected to start hitting the streets in early 2017, the deployment was pushed back to mid-2017, and then late 2017 after complexities with the build, according to ARN.
Along the way the force was also handed an extra $22 million to equip an extra 2700 police officers that were announced after the original tender with devices, as well as address integration difficulties.
As at the end of last year the force had rolled out 7145 devices, with the next phase of deployment to begin in January, according to the most recent update on the state’s IT dashboard.
But by April Victoria Police had completed the rollout, two month ahead of its June 2019 delivery date - which had already been revised down from the project's original completion date of June 2020.
“Victoria Police has completed the rollout of mobile devices to officers in the field. The rollout of over 9000 devices was completed earlier than expected,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson put the force’s ability to finish the rollout early down to “detailed planning and success achieved during deployment”.
The new devices are expected to drastically reduce the amount of time taken to complete administrative tasks, with officers now able to perform identity and vehicle checks and record statements without needing to return to a police station.
Other historical images and information from local and national databases are also accessible on the devices, with computer aided dispatch (CAD) the most recent functionality to be added.
“The functionality of CAD gives officers the chance to filter live interactive maps from their mobile device, with the ability to view their assigned jobs with essential information,” the spokesperson said.
However, with just under 14,600 sworn police officers across the state, not all officers will carry a device.
The spokesperson said other crime and event reporting functionality would also be added to the devices later this year to allow officers to enter information and reports directly into the state's notorious LEAP crimes database.
Victoria Police extended the life of the database by another seven years in late 2016 after successive attempts to replace the mainframe technology.
As a result of the upgrades, all frontline police officers can directly enter records into the system digitally.