There is a new crime fighting tool on its way to law enforcement officers in California, but unlike pepper spray, radios, batons and handcuffs, you will not find it on their gun belts. Instead, this new tool will be on their smartphones and tablets. This new tool is the California Department of Justice's JusticeMobile app.
The JusticeMobile app can be used by officers to check state and federal criminal databases for a suspect's background. Officers with the app will not have to return to their patrol cars to access a computer or radio dispatchers or phone department employees to track down the information.
“We have mobile apps for everything from banking to board games on our phones. But, incredibly, law enforcement hasn’t had the tools to access important criminal justice information on handhelds and tablets until now,” said Attorney General Harris. “JusticeMobile is a quantum leap forward for public and peace officer safety, and it demonstrates our commitment to facilitating the adoption of new technology by law enforcement. "
The app is currently being used by the San Francisco Police Department and California Department of Justice Special Agents. DOJ agents are using JusticeMobile on their iPads to check potential gun buyers at weekend firearms shows in California, by checking names against the Bureau of Firearms Armed Prohibited Persons (APPS) database. Previously, agents were able to run only 20 individuals against the APPS list at a weekend gun show. Now, using JusticeMobile on iPads, agents are running 80 individuals, an increase of 300 percent.
"This is a welcome tool for all of law enforcement," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). "It can only help with officer and public safety. I look forward to the future when it is used statewide by all officers, including our agents and investigators."
San Francisco police were the first to test the app. “This is a game changer," said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. "The JusticeMobile smartphones give officers on the streets instant access to law enforcement data where information in real time counts."
The app has rigorous security standards which include: strong password requirements, a Virtual Private Network that requires two-factor authorization, encryption, limits on downloads and backup/syncing, and prohibits copying or screen captures.