The handheld personal digital assistants, which went live on Nov. 4, are ushering in the Kingsport Police Department's transition to a paperless operation. Every type of report is now filled out using the devices, saving time and resources, while also providing background information on suspects to officers in the field.
According to Sgt. Joe Earles, the PDAs have already helped snare arrests during routine citations, nabbing suspects on outstanding warrants that may have once slid through the cracks. Connected wirelessly to the National Crime Information Center database, they can also identify vehicles and weapons reported as stolen.
The PDAs are even equipped with camera functions, allowing officers to attach photos of crime scenes or traffic accidents directly to their digital reports.
Earles admits "young pup" officers are taking to the devices a little quicker than the old guard. But once everyone gets past their learning curve, and their digital legs beneath them, he expects the PDAs to make the entire force more efficient.
For more details read Saturday's edition of the Times-News.