POLICE Magazine Supplements

Special Report 2016

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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S p e c i a l R e p o r t : L a w E n f o r c e m e n t S o f t w a r e 15 run anti-virus on the app. Many anti-virus and anti-malware programs will hit on apps. If that happens do not use that app. Types of Police Apps ere is a wide variety of law enforcement apps and law en- forcement-related apps on the market. Here's a quick look at some of the most common types of apps that can be useful for police operations. Informational Apps–ose apps that contain information for reference when on the job. Documentation Apps—ese are soware tools meant to as- sist in reports, scene documentation, and note-taking. Custom Apps—Some law enforcement agencies actually work with developers to produce apps specifically to meet their needs. Solution Apps—ere are a number of soware companies that now offer apps that are part of their enterprise solutions for tools such as analytics or crime scene documentation. ese apps are downloaded off of app stores like the latest games be- cause that's how soware is loaded into most mobile devices these days. But you can't just download them and start using them. In order to use these apps you need special permissions and a paid subscription to the solution. Useful Informational Apps e Police Spanish Guide—is app is designed to help non- Spanish-speaking officers communicate during basic law en- forcement encounters with people who only speak Spanish. e app uses yes/no questions and even has audio capability. Cargo Decoder—is is your guide to what is in the truck or tanker next to you on the highway. Enter the four-digit number from the DOT placard to learn about a mate- rial and see details from both the 2012 Emer- gency Response Guidebook (ERG 2012) and 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG 2008). is is a really handy guide if you fre- quently run across DOT placards. State Law and Statute Apps—Numerous states have apps to cover their laws and stat- utes. ese can be extremely handy in the field, unlike the 6-inch-thick books some old-timers were given when they graduated the academy. Just make sure the app is up to date. Police Defensive Tactics—is app from Turtlepress contains videos of defensive tac- tics that are supposed to "give you a solid foundation in the physical and psychological tactics of on- the-job confrontations. Master the essentials of successfully reacting to fluid situations, avoiding physical confrontations, handling all levels of resistance and protecting [yourself]." e videos show many techniques for hand-to-hand fighting and defensive skills. Before using any of the techniques in this app, become unwieldy. So dig deep enough into the reviews to see if that happened. Next, check out the developer. Is the de- veloper a company or just some kid who lives in his mom's basement? Does the developer have a website? Is the company located in the United States? e person or company that makes the app can say much about whether you should trust it or not. Look at the permissions that the app re- quests. In the first versions of the game Poke- mon Go the developer, Niantic, requested full access to a user's Google account. is level of access meant that the company had access to email, contacts, documents, calen- dars, and much more. Niantic quickly reversed this policy. For law enforcement officers this kind of app permission is ex- tremely dangerous. You don't want a bad guy to find your family, read your email, or access your financial reports. Check what the app wants; if it seems intrusive, delete it before you open it. Finally, and especially for Android and home computers, The Texas DPS app was built for the public and includes information on wanted fugitives and sex offenders. PHOTO: MARK W. CLARK

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