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Minnesota Police Department Finds Ways to Embrace Technology

NCJ Number
Date Published
Michele Coppola
This article describes how the Richfield Police Department (Minnesota) stays updated on emerging police technologies by taking advantage of State and county programs and developing initiatives in-house.
Most of the electronic initiatives are generated by either the county or the State. During the past few years, the Richfield Police Department (RPD) has adopted electronic ticket writing, electronic police reports, and electronic DWI charging and booking. The electronic initiatives are generated by a consortium that consists of county, State, and city representatives. The consortium makes recommendations and proposals, and project officers are assigned to implement them. When considering technology, assessments of the technology available consider what is best for officers in terms of efficiency and use for the benefits of the community. On its own, the RPD developed an intranet that provides officers with a central location for information and access on training, court schedules, policies and procedures, forms, and criminal and traffic codes. All of the information on the intranet is accessible from the squad car and department computers. Future plans include expansion of the intranet content, the addition of an automatic number plate recognition system, and the replacement of patrol car laptops with tablets, which sill increate the workable space in the cars. The RPD serves a population of 34,439 in a 7-square-mile area with 45 sworn officers.
Date Created: February 4, 2014