Redlands’ Police Department doesn’t look or operate the same today as it did a few years ago. In fact, a pessimist would say they’re operating on a struggle to survive mentality.

But in the eyes of Chief Jim Bueermann, the changes mean that the department has had to find ways to be better stewards of the residents tax money. They’ve had to deliver the same services, just as professionally; protecting and serving the people without the luxuries that other forces have at their disposal.

Among the innovations they’ve adopted is the Iphone for police officers in the field. Using a grant from the National Institute for Justice, Redlands put an iPhone in the hands of all of its officers, enabling the rapid exchange of information, linking resources from commanders to the patrolmen.

According to a Redlands police statement:

The advent and rise of computerized crime mapping and analysis techniques has gone a long way towards developing analytic capabilities within police departments. These tools, however, have often focused on desktop users or have been distributed in formats incompatible with the highly mobile nature of law enforcement.

The [project] seeks to turn the iPhone into a powerful tool that will give officers the ability to more quickly identify and react to changing crime trends, identify crime hot spots and share criminal intelligence information more easily while in the field. This program will take advantage of the enhanced multimedia capabilities of the iPhone to address the intelligence needs of law enforcement officers.

Chief Bueermann’s remarks about the challenges and opportunities facing the Redlands Police Department were delivered to the local rotary club last week.

You can read about it here.