California law enforcement launches crime-fighting smartphone app


The app allows officers to look up a suspect's statewide criminal record while the officers are out on patrol, instead of calling or radioing back to their stations.

This app is expected to save time - particularly for officers in intense situations out on the field. Officers will know if the person they are contacting is a parolee or a wanted felon.

Attorney General Kamala Harris worked with the San Francisco Police Department and various technology companies to develop the app, using federal, state and local funds.

Harris said about 600 San Francisco police officers have used the app. Plans call for about 1,600 officers in San Francisco to receive an expanded version of the app. More than 3,600 LAPD officers will soon receive the new technology.

"The officer on the street will now have the ability through their smartphone to get that information in real time," Harris said. "They don't have to radio someone to give the information."

The app has rigorous security standards. Officers will have to go through multiple verifications to use it, and the data on the app can be erased remotely if the phone is lost or stolen.

New York City police began testing a similar app to access its department's criminal records earlier this year. However, Harris said California is the only state in the country where officers will have access to statewide criminal records.

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