mPol: The App for Australian Officers

What is revolutionizing how 4,100 cops assess a situation, exchange vital information in real time, and keep both the public and themselves safe?

Queensland Police [image source: sbs.com.au], crowdink, crowd ink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Queensland Police [image source: sbs.com.au]

What is revolutionizing how 4,100 cops assess a situation, exchange vital information in real time, and keep both the public and themselves safe?

mPol.

The new app, already being used by 4,100 Queensland Police Officers, provides real-time access to police databases from anywhere, anytime, improving officer safety and ensuring frontline officers are able to complete their duties efficiently and effectively.

So What Does mPol Actually Do?

The app allows for an extremely user-friendly display of persons, vehicles, businesses, and organisations of interest. It also uses a GIS/Map Query for better situational awareness, marking areas that have been flagged for various reasons with the reason the area is flagged as well as the date of the incident that has caused the alert. mPol also allows officers to create intelligence reports, infringement notices, move-on directions, roadside drug tests, and tasking right in the field.

As mPol is for Police Use, What Security Measures are in Place?

The app has the ability to be remotely tracked and data-wiped, if necessary. It’s a secure platform with tiered security access, so information never lands in the wrong hands.

Getting Rid of the Paperwork

After every encounter with an offender, police are required to complete accompanying forms, proliferating the notion of a police ‘bag of books’. The mPol platform eliminates the need for numerous forms, by providing a single digital interface to document incidents.

CrowdInk had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Stuart McDiarmid, Gridstone’s Director of Public Safety to get a bit more information on where the mPol app is heading, how it’s capabilities are expanding, and what international implications mPol could have.

CrowdInk: Where is mPol Heading Next?

Stuart McDiarmid: The mPol platform is about to enter its third year of development and it’s important that we continue to iterate, ensuring we make use of the ever-increasing list of inherent features mobility hardware and improved data networks provide to ensure law enforcement agencies have technology that enhances the possibility of positive outcomes for both officers themselves and the broader community.

We are working to take the platform beyond issuing legal documents such as infringements or banning notices, recognising that, for most members of the community, interaction with the police is as a result of them being a victim of a crime, reporting an incident such as a missing person, or witnessing an event police are investigating, so we are looking at how technology can make that interaction more positive, provide better information and hopefully, with real time reporting, obtain many more positive outcomes.

CI:How Does mPol Fit Into the Wider, International Policing World?

SM: Internationally there has never been more interest in mobility and law enforcement. Through economic circumstances governments have focused on a policy of austerity. Agencies have never had to respond to more calls for service. This has ensured that innovation is high on the agenda to ensure levels of service to the community are not only maintained, but increase corresponding to demand. Gridstone has been fortunate enough to deal with a number of policing subject matter experts with international experience and without doubt, by taking advantage of our ability to customise individual modules of mPol, there is a real opportunity for mPol to have a role on the international law enforcement scene.

The Bottom Line

The app has the capacity to increase officer safety, improve efficiency, and provide intelligence in real time. And the more information officers have, the more appropriate a response to an incident will be. As Stuart McDiarmid put it, “mPol provides officers with the information to make educated decisions without having to wait for radio calls. Radio is important for Priority 1 and Priority 2 jobs, but in general, you just don’t have the time to wait for the information you need. Presence has an effect on ensuring that officers, as well as those present in the field, all get home safely.”