Public safety agencies are moving into the 21st century with a new app that allows cops to peruse state and federal databases using a smartphone or tablet.

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced plans on Monday to expand access to the “JusticeMobile” app. It will soon be available to agencies throughout the state.

The app will allow cops and patrol agents to screen a suspect and his or her background without the need for patrol car computer or cross-referencing with employees back at the station.

New York City beat California to the punch in utilizing smartphone technology for such matters. However, the Golden State is posed to be the first in the nation to implement this technology on a statewide basis.

San Francisco served as the test pilot for the program here in California. It has been well-received by the 600 officers who took part in the test run. Several officers praised the convenience and efficiency of the application, noting specifically howt he application can even bring up a photo in order to confirm the identity of the purported suspect. One officer even described the app as a “law enforcement game changer.”

Undoubtedly, security is an issue. However, the app requires law enforcement users to go through substantial hoops in order to access records and data can be neutralized should the phone be lost.

Read the full report at the Los Angeles Times