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| | 2008-02-26 Philly Cops Outfitted with Blackberry Devices
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From myfoxphilly.com - By Dave Schratwieser
Philadelphia Police have a new weapon at their disposal as they crack down on crime here in the city.
Commissioner Charles Ramsey has ordered all commanders to be outfitted with Blackberry communication devices so they can get out from behind their desks and onto the street. The Blackberry allows commanders to get instant information on crimes and suspects in the palm of their hand
When Philadelphia Police commanders arrive on the scene of a crime, they now have something else on their belts besides a gun. They have access to instant information on their new Blackberrys.
"It's about safety and it's about solving crimes. And with this thing we really have an advantage now that we didn't have before," said Captain Ben Naish of Southwest Detectives..
Ramsey ordered the new Blackberrys for every captain in each of his 23 police districts, along with inspectors, chief inspectors and deputy commissioners.
"This is the 21st century, so we're just trying to equip people with what they need to be more effective getting their job done," said Commissioner Ramsey.
Captain Naish got his new blackberry last wednesday, hours later it lit up with an alert after a police shooting at 53rd and Arch. He raced to the scene along with Ramsey and other commanders, all linked together by their new information technology.
"Exchanging photographs of crime scenes, possibly pictures of suspects so that we can share it with the rest of the troops as it's going on," Naish said.
The Blackberry has been in use in corporate America and City Hall for years. Now police are getting the new technology with the ability to take their work out of the precinct house and onto the streets.
"It kind of makes my office wherever I am," Naish explained.
Police say the Blackberry will come in handy at crime scenes. Commanders can have instant access to information on suspects, even send the bad guys picture right to cops on the street in seconds.
"Time is just so important when it comes to investigations. This is the benefit of the modern technology that we have," Naish said..
Ramsey says the Blackberry and other technology being added to the department are part of his quest to get cops real time information on the streets.
"Just need to be able to find out what's going on quickly," Ramsey said..
Mayor Nutter knows if he hopes to reduce the homicide rate by 50 percent and other crimes as he's promised, officers need the latest technology at their fingertips.
"All of these technologies certainly help to better I would say arm our police officers to have the information they need," Nutter said.
"It's gonna help us to prevent crime. It's gonna help us solve crimes.Everything is going portable. who knows what the next device will be to help us do our job," Naish said.
The department is also giving Blackberrys to ranking officers in some of the city's specialized units, as Ramsey starts to move more manpower out from behind the desk and onto the streets. The hand held Blackberry also gives commanders access to the heads of every city department, even the mayor's office.