Smartphone App for Law Enforcement

Pocket CSI offers a suite of applications for first responders.

Law Enforcement Training and Resource Group LLC., has come out with a new suite of applications for all smartphones. The suite is built around the needs of the first responder's response to services calls. This suite is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphones and should be used with those phones with at least a 5 megapixel camera (for best results). The suite comes complete with 15 different applications. The applications are divided into tools, calculators, and evidence.

Tools include a caliper, compass, level (in degrees and percentage of slope), audio officer notes, field contact report, DOA notes, and references files. The three calculators included are skid mark calculator (for minimum speed, yaw and friction factor), pictorial blood spatter calculator, and a pictorial digital dimension calculator. The evidence applications include two for photos (pre-scaled and scaled photo sets), two apps for video (again one pre-scaled and one for scaled video), along with a field contact audio recorder.

After a simple two-step setup, the suite is ready to use. All evidence files are encoded with metafiles that include: agency identifier, officer identifier, case number, GPS location of the scene, date, time, and picture/video/audio numbering.

Upon completion of the call, the responder should download the case folders onto a computer with a DVD disk drive and then label the DVD with the case number for evidence, remembering to always follow agency SOPs.

Tool Use

The AUDIO NOTE TAKER is just that, a way for the responder to take notes on the fly without stopping to write things down. The CALIPER app will give readings between the jaws in either metric or fractional. The COMPASS app is just that. The DOA NOTES app give the responder a list of items to fill in using dropdown menus, checks, and fill in the blank to note what was observed “without touching the victim”. In some cases the medical examiner/coroner may assist in the field. The FIELD CONTACT REPORT is expanded to include more than what is necessary but is quite complete, fill in whatever your needs are. The LEVEL application gives a reading of how level the phone is in both degrees and also has a percentage of slope readout. Finally, the REFERENCES app is a list of references that are useful for responders, and includes, Miranda, probable cause statement, three field sobriety tests, and silhouettes of handguns, shotguns, rifles, and assault rifles.

Calculators

The three calculators include SKID MARKS that calculates not only minimum speed but also yaw and friction. The BLOOD SPATTER application is innovative. By taking a picture of blood spatter and marking the minor and major axis the application will calculate how many pixels wide by long the spatter is and then give you the angle it hit the object at. The DIMENSION app uses the same concept using a known item within a picture that is on a parallel plane to the camera when the picture was taken. Then by calculating the pixels and applying those calculations to other points within the picture it will draw lines and write in the distance on the picture. The app will keep both the original picture and the finished dimensionalized picture in a folder for downloading.

Evidence

The three basic applications included in the suite deal with AUDIO WITNESS/VICTIM/SUBJECT comments (check with SOPs for audio recording requirements). There are also two PHOTO apps and two VIDEO apps. In each case, you have a folder for making you documentation prior to setting scales and markers or “as found” pictures, and another set with scales and markers.

Each of the applications has its own instructions included on screen, (just tap the (I) button). All file folders for a specific case are kept by case and date. When you return to station download, using your phones normal download method, into a computer with a DVD drive and copy the evidence files to a disk for evidence storage (check your agencies SOPs for special instructions).

Current expected release of the iPhone version of Pocket CSI is March 15, 2012. The Android and Blackberry verisons are expected to be released around April 1, 2012. See the Law Enforcement Training and Resource Group website for more information.

 

 
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