Baltimore Police Take to the Streets with BlackBerry

By IsaacKendall on 28 Apr 2010 09:10 am EDT
Baltimore PD 

We previously did a post on the Baltimore PD BlackBerry initiative when it was an announced last fall.  This year at WES, the systems director for the Baltimore Police Dept. Gayle Guildford and the project manager Sergeant Sheree Briscoe were here representing the department as they were finalists for the Wireless Leadership Awards.

In an effort to get the beat cop out of the car where they are isolated from the community and back on the streets, Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefield has armed them with BlackBerry devices.  The initiative is meant to go back the days of old when the neighborhood cop on the corner was a part of the community who knew everyone and everyone knew him.

When the project is fully deployed there will be 2,000 devices in use, today they have 200 out on the street.  These officers are equipped with a BlackBerry Curve 8330 on Verizon, and an extended life battery which offers 140% longer battery life than the standard.

The BPD has also loaded the these devices with a managed GPS solution so that dispatches and watch commanders can know exactly where the officers are and can push down high priority warrants for criminals known to be in that specific area.

The BlackBerry devices also have a piece of software called "Pocket Cop" which allows the officers to run ID checks and license plate tags.

The entire project is called Side Partner and it is giving at least 30 minutes back into an officers day, time previously spent waiting for queries to come back.  Before the Side Partner program an officer would need to take ID back to the car and enter the data into the computer terminal and wait for the data to come back - now they stay at the scene and run all required info from their BlackBerry.

At present the Side Partner can run tags by manually entering the tag number into the BlackBerry but Sergeant Sheree Briscoe says that budget permitting, would like to be expanded to allow for a photo to be taken and have a tag run automatically.

The camera is being utilized now, with officers taking photos of crime scenes to get the investigations started immediately without needing to wait for crime scene investigates.

To improve security, the department used token-based two-factor authentication with RSA tokens.  They had also needed to ruggedize the handsets and find holsters that held the handsets securely during foot chases.

It's a very impressive program that I'm sure will catch on and spread out to other police departments around North America.

Reader comments

Baltimore Police Take to the Streets with BlackBerry


Please, Grammar Nazis, DIE!!!

I am so sick of reading your mental masturbation around these boards.

07thking, some highlights of your post history are below.

So, please, for the sake of the huge majority of CB's blog readers who couldn't care less, quit correcting grammar around here.

The entire post is full of mistakes and readability issues. Specifically: "There not much improvements on the iphone..." Need a verb, "much" should be "many." iphone capitalization is missing. After that, the rest of your post is an editor's nightmare because you're trying to cram many thoughts into one sentence.

You have two independent clauses separated by a comma. You need a conjunction, a period, or a semicolon.

Should have a period after "thing." "i'll" should be capitalized. "1yr" should be "one-year." "manufactures" should be "manufacturer's."

Should be 2nd-, 3rd-, and so-on-and-so-forth-generation technologies. Need a period after "better."

Opera and bolt should be capitalized.

Need a period after "something."

So there you have it, a very small sample of your mistakes. You seem to have a problem with periods and commas. Maybe it'd be best to master those basic grammar principles before you pollute the blogs with your self-imposed authority.

I agree with the above that nobody cares!!! I'm sure you had no problem figuring out what the post was trying to say. These guys are posting on the go from WES...Give them a f*cking break! Geez!

If you have nothing better to do than search the forums for spelling and grammar mistakes, then you need to go out and find the miserable existence of a life you lost somewhere along the line.

If you can do better, go start your own site:

Just sayin'...

I am all for the use of technology for communication for law enforcement ... but I will wait for the handful or so who abuse the use of taxpayer dollars and then will give the program a bad rap. Brickbreaker anyone ...

I would hope they are taking advantage of additional IT security policy settings to limit functions of the BlackBerry non-essential to business needs.

This is a good idea and I think it will be a success. There seem to be 2 typos in your post, one in paragraph/section 4 line 2 and the other in paragraph/section 7 line 1.

GO to and submit your resume along with your achievements and accreditations in Star Wars Trivia. Dude just read the article and STFU. So many whiners and nit pickers in the world why not start your own page and type what ever and how ever you want.

hahaha. Excellent and so true.

I will never understand why certain blog commenters feel the need to correct grammar.

Maybe it's because they're jealous of the bloggers and they think they can do better or deserve to be the blogger and the only way they can "prove" that is by claiming superiority by pointing out grammar mistakes.

I will be a cop soon. I am just finishing up with my 2-year Law Enforcement degree this may, and I'm looking for a job. This type of device would be awesome for cops on a foot beat, or after a foot chase.

I'm not sure where you're at but there is no 2 year law enforcement degree.

There's a BLET class that lasts like 6 months. Are you talking about Criminal Justice? That doesn't qualify you to be a police officer, unless you live in a state where there is no basic law enforcement training... not sure those exist.

You have to go through an Academy or BLET at a community college. No degree gets you there.

What makes you think he is from the US? there is a 2-year law and security course that Canadian law enforcement and security officers take. If you graduate from that course it pretty much guarantees you into the program. Police and and Law Enforcement agencies hire pretty much straight out of this pool of graduates.

Good luck either way.

These two courses are 2 years each. I first took Law and Security Administration and then Police Foundations, they let you skip the first year once you've shown your proficiency (and the fact that they're the same classes).

Yeah, s/he does have to get hired and then go through the OPC before they're officially an officer, but your tone is a little condescending. Criminal Justice diplomas (not degrees) that you see on television are not the same as LSA/PF. Nothing really 'qualifies' you to be a police officer except going through the OPC (the Police Academy)--no diploma or degree lets you do that.

Even then, don't expect BBs to be rolled out with Canada's finest. Even after foot-chases and on the beat--the best tool is a good head on your shoulders and back-up/dispatch with equally as good heads on theirs.

We are not english or grammer class. I read through the article twice and didn't notice anything. Give it a rest people. Maybe they should hire me then since I can't notice the mistakes.

For those folks that are lamenting about the blog post, give these guys a break. CB is pretty much the only true vaild team down at CES reporting on what's happening and the team is on the move reporting it as they go. So if there is grammer errors, let it pass.

Baltimore could really use the money in other ways than this. The city is shutting down fire stations completely while having others with rolling shut downs (already resulted in deaths). There is a serious concern being raised by residents over the idea of furloughing police around the city. (new mayor says will not happen, in exchange new taxes on things like soda) The previous mayor (stepped down following a criminal conviction over her use of gift cards for the needy to purchase an xbox, fur coats, and other items for herself and others) is still getting an $80,000 a year pension while now working as a lobbyist in the private sector. Murders maybe down but at the same time there are 3 separate shootings with three people dead and six injured all over the city in one day. A number of the blue light "big brother is watching" police cameras don't even work in some areas.

I don't have a problem with advancing technology, it is unfortunate though that to advance this way they have to let other areas of law enforcement and fire prevention suffer. I was told by a friend in the BPD and another that works in Baltimore county sheriffs office that the city still can't afford to do anything above basic maintenance on police cruisers and some still have to provide their own batteries for radios.

Nobody thinks it's ridiculous they're only getting Curve 8330's? Why not just a pager, it'll run out of memory a helluva lot less =P. But seriously, do they not even deserve 8530's? Maybe it's the lack of flash. Either way, cool to hear such innovative real-world applications of BlackBerrys.

Great idea, this is another tool in the holster that will help our officers combat crime. Off the top of my head the uses are huge, really like the gps feature for when you need someone to provide backup. It might seem like another expense for taxpayers but it really is a cost saving measure, officers can be out doing patrol instead of in the office having to read emails and such.

Apparently some people didn't pay attention in school. These smart phones even have auto-complete and spell check.

I'm a new bb user and I love hearing about the new & creative ways bb's are being used. great time savers for our police officers. Nice article.

Who would want to carry around a portable GPS device that tells your bosses exactly where you are so they can come and check on you at any time?! This article says, it will shave 30 minutes off a cops day just by eliminating the time it takes to walk back to the RMP to write a summons, and waiting on warrant checks to come back.. That is ridiculous, lol.. How many summonses are these cops writing it Maryland, that the time alone that is spent carrying an ID to the car and "waiting" of a check to come back totals to 30 minutes?! Lol. And what happens when you are right around the corner from somebody getting popped, and have no idea... When they look at you on the GPS and expect to hold you accountable for it? When you're in a deli or something not around to see what happened but close on the GPS computer screen? It's just one more way for them to keep tabs on you and hold you accountable for BS. When you wanna write a summons and have their name pop after running a warrant check, and then decide to tell them to take a hike because you really don't want to collar them because they are a bag of sh1t, or whatever reason... I'm sure this will make it much easier for them to keep track of and directly monitor the names you run, and be able to better inquire into where the body is at with the name you ran that popped.. I hope they never bring that program to where I work! Though thankfully, I seriously doubt that would happen in even 20 years from now.

APLS (Automatic Person Location Services) is valuable tool to police depts. Firstly in a sticky situation it allows your control centre to find you.. hell if I was cop and was in trouble i'd wanna be found!!! Also allows control to track high speed pursuits etc. More to the point when you book on shift you are working and if your boss wants to see where you are then thats down to them. They are paying you after all.. if you were sat in an office your boss would know where you were most the time.In my experience the only people who dont want this kind of thing is those with something to hide!!!

As to saving time.. of course it does.. we live in a world fuelled by paperwork and unfortunatley cops have more than their fair share to fill out, systems to update, checks that need to be completed and doing a portion of it on the move has to be a more efficent use of time. Cops out and about are people best suited to catching criminals and dealing with disorder.. not sitting at desks and filling out forms.. if they can make use of technolgy to help them catch the bad guys then hell ya, make it happen. lets not forget after all that there are some seriously organised bad people out there and to think they do not use technolgy to conduct their business is somewhat naive. Rant over!!!