New age of Vancouver police computers revealed
Vancouver Police Department demonstates the Live Geo Dash at a police board meeting in Vancouver, B.C. on Thursday February 20, 2014. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Addresses of known gang members, locations of recent crimes, or where the most “heat” is at any given point in Vancouver, will soon be at officers’ fingertips aboard their patrol-cruiser computer terminals.
Special Const. Ryan Prox said Thursday the Vancouver Police Department’s information system Geo Dash, set to launch Monday, will be the first of its kind in Canada.
Where officers in other jurisdictions must call their headquarters to get similar information, Prox noted Vancouver’s 380 police cruisers will be outfitted with the technology.
“We’re trying to empower our VPD members to be as proactive as possible and also to allow our managers to strategically deploy our resources more efficiently.”
Geo Dash cost the department $50,000 for the encrypted software and nothing would be changed about how officers currently file reports after investigations. The data would automatically be uploaded, thrice daily, into their touch-screen mobile computers.
Prox said this type of data is important because officers work a four-days-on, four-days-off schedule and need to get back in the loop each time they return.
“(Currently on the map) we have a sex assault that happened in the last 48 hours, we have residential break and enters — three in the last 48 hours — these are things patrol members want to draw attention to,” he said, using the Davie Street area as an example.
Officers can then zoom out to an overhead-satellite view, Prox continued, where they can identify vantage points and sightlines to locate witnesses.
Outfitting the computers is expected to be complete in March with an evaluation of the program this fall.