Steinbach MPP and Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced that the Manitoba government is investing $750,000 to expand the Connected Officer Pilot (COP) program, an innovative technology initiative that has proven effective in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of front-line law enforcement officers and improve service delivery for citizens.
“Pilot testing of digital technology to assist Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) officers has yielded positive results, so we are pleased to support phase two of the project, including expansion to other services. police in the province,” Goertzen said. “Giving officers the ability to perform work-related tasks digitally, such as officer-to-officer communication, statement taking or evidence recording, helps modernize policing responsibilities and better serve our communities.”
The advancement of digital technology offers police services the opportunity to achieve significant operational savings, which will improve service in Manitoba communities, the minister noted. The COP program enables Manitoba law enforcement agencies to modernize by adopting mobile digital evidence management technology. This technology allows officers to take statements, upload video, photo and audio evidence and record notes digitally. The information is then stored using cloud computing, with information easily accessible from the app and via desktop or mobile device.
The next phase of COP program funding will see WPS receive $375,000 to provide 150 officers with mobile access to police information and databases, digital notes and evidence capture capabilities, and evidence management. digital and other applications for one year. This technology significantly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of front-line officers, noted the Minister. In addition, the ability to use connected agent technology will support the work of the Manitoba Criminal Intelligence Center to work collaboratively with police services and promote and coordinate the sharing of criminal intelligence and analysis to better target all crime levels.
“The addition of mobile police apps will truly change the way officers assist the public, with key enhancements such as digital evidence management, audio statements and digital notes, to name a few. said Insp. George Labossiere, WPS, the senior officer overseeing the project. “This investment in technology creates efficiencies for police, Manitoba Justice and, most importantly, the public.
Depending on the success of the first phase of the pilot, funding will be expanded to provide other police forces with $375,000 in funding to be divided among them to meet local technology needs to better equip 150 of their officers in Manitoba communities.
COP will support:
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police;
- Brandon Police Department;
- Manitoba First Nations Police Service;
- Winkler Police Department;
- Morden Police Department;
- Ste. Anne’s Police Department;
- Altona Police Department;
- River Police Service;
- Victoria Beach Police Department;
- Cornwallis Police Department; and
- Springfield Police Department.
“The Manitoba First Nations Police Service appreciates the Manitoba government’s support for integrated mobile technology,” said Chief Doug Palson, Manitoba First Nations Police Service. “Agents will have better access to information and increased interaction with our data center, regardless of where they are working. Creating Connected Officers will help us quickly respond to distress calls and increase situational awareness during events. This funding means we can spend more time doing the things that really matter, building relationships and solving problems together, to keep children and families safe and well-being in our communities.
“Our government is committed to mitigating unnecessary demands on police resources, allowing our officers to better focus on tackling serious crime in our communities,” Goertzen said. “We are proud to expand this pilot project across our province and look forward to working with police services to improve public safety for all Manitobans.