Case study: WA Police save time with CarPlay integration

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WA Police needed to revamp its in-car technology but didn’t want new infrastructure but rather use the native systems already in place.

Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch spoke to Digital Nation Australia about the journey to implementing new technology into their vehicles and the impact the technology has had on their daily duties.  

WA Police and Motorola Solutions launched a public safety mobile app to operate in Apple CarPlay.

The enhanced app is a major milestone of WA Police’s $11 million migration to Motorola’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system since 2015.

WAPOL Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said the smart mobile tech helps the police force to work with improved safety and focus when responding to emergency calls.

“We have an aggressive posture on technology and we have a strong focus to use every bit of technology we can to get police back to what they're good at and that is engaging with the community,” he said.

“Spending more time out in the streets, looking for problems in the community and looking for problems to solve. It is a technology solution to do core policing.”

From implementing the new Motorola and CarPlay solution, Blanch said crime has gone down and he puts it “down squarely to the better use of technology, more presence on the street and a high visibility of policing.”

He said, “But we also came up with the idea that if you're using the technology then there's no need to go back to the police station you can stay out. You maintain high visibility, you can do your work on your phone, and you can be present for the community when they need you.

“Now that we're out of COVID in the context of border controls, crime has only risen 25 percent,” he said.

The CarPlay solution from Apple allows for additional customisation, Blanch explained. For example, WA Police has an app called ‘Hey Sarge’ that gives officers the run down of the crime scene without having to call their colleagues.

Blanch said when building these apps, they make sure police officers are part of the development process.

“We’ve got a saying, digital policing built for cops by cops. They work directly within the technology team, with the technologists themselves and build these capabilities. That is probably the real recipe for success for us is that we have uniformed police working side by side with our technologists,” he added.

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