Mumbai police gives patrolling vans tablets to reduce emergency response time

Mumbai: The main control room of Mumbai police is being modernised to reduce emergency response time for which, now, patrolling vans of all police stations in the south region have been recently given Samsung Tablets on which they get detailed messages from the main control room regarding actionable calls.

After receiving the message, the patrolling team visits the crime scene and takes photographs besides making video clips on the Tablet to keep as evidence. The pilot project, the brainchild of Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar, will later be executed in all regions of the Mumbai police.

Confirming the news, a senior IPS officer said, “Our patrolling vans are already equipped with GPS tracking device. Now they have been given Tablets where the control room sends detailed message of emergency caller. It has been made mandatory for all the patrolling teams to take photographs and make video clips of the incident from the given Tablet. At present, we are running this as a pilot project only in south region and the whole exercise has been made to reduce the emergency response time from existing 10 minutes to five minutes.”

The patrolling teams are many times accused of either overlooking the matter, or being biased. “These photos and video clips will help us combat the baseless allegation on the police force. Sometimes, rumour mongers post morphed videos or photos of crime scenes to defame or troll city police on social media. These pictures and video clips will help us combat the innuendo about city police on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram,” said another IPS officer from south region of Mumbai police.

The patrolling team has to key in their details to log-in to the Tablets and once their shift time gets over, they log-out before handing out the Tablet to their colleagues. The log-in and log-out time also helps senior officers keep a track of the patrolling team.

In a bid to minimise the emergency response time, the city police have recently installed a software at its main control room to automatically trace the geo-location of its callers dialling ‘police helpline 100’. The Free Press Journal was the first to report ‘Mumbai police to geo-locate callers on 100 helpline’ on August 3.

Challenges ahead

There are several dead zones of south Mumbai where the mobile network strength is almost zero. One has to wander in a huff to get better signal strength.

Since the patrolling van is GPS-enabled, so the control room can see the nearest police vehicle on the map and sends the detailed message on the tablet. But the ‘detailed message’ sent to tablet does not get delivered if the patrolling van is standing in the dead zone.“After all the tablet is connected through internet. If the patrolling van is standing in poor network area, the message sent by control room will not get delivered because it is automatically gets logged out due to poor network. In this case, the control room contacts the patrolling van on wireless or walkie-talkie and inform them that the tablet is logged out due to bad internet. In such cases, the patrolling van keeps changing their locations on sheer guesswork to get better signal strength,” added the officer.

Advantages of cops ‘taking’ tablets

  1. It helps to check the arrival time of patrolling van at the crime scene.
  2. It helps to check whether the patrolling van actually visited the spot.
  3. It helps to track the emergency response time.
  4. The pictures and video clips taken on the Tablet can be used as evidence.
  5. Log-in and log-out details of policemen helps track officials on duty.

The control room receives more than 50,000 calls, including missed calls as well as blank calls, in a day. The aim of this move is to reduce emergency response time from 10 minutes to five minutes.

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