Apps aren’t just for games anymore. The trend of creating apps for everyday use has exploded and today you can find apps on almost everything, including weather, sports, dating, job search, social networking, maps / directions and TV / movies. Many companies are even developing apps for their employees that aid them in their daily work. Law enforcement is one area where staying on top of new technology is critical, as it can save lives—citizens and officers alike. Therefore it’s no wonder that many apps for police officers have been developed and are being used everyday to assist officers in their daily roles. Here’s a list of our favorites.
ON THE STREET
U.S. Cop ($3.99) Available for iPhone and Android
U.S. Cop is a multi-tool app offering resources any street officer could use, including accident investigation formulas; brake efficiency; narrative templates; different tire-size speed calculator; view GPS coordinates for crash reports; LiDAR test instructions; Warrant PUR guidelines. Also available are training articles regarding detecting concealed weapons, pluralistic ignorance, interview and interrogation, detecting deception, rookie drug interdiction mistakes, Drug Recognition Expert training, and more. You’ll find case law resources for probable cause search and arrest as well as many other topics. A pill identifier gives you the ability to figure out what kind of pills your suspect is carrying. You’ll also have the ability to take a photo and have a date / time stamp, GPS location and address appear in the photo’s top margin for evidence. Photos can be stored and organized in a folder system that also allows the photos to be e-mailed, MMS or deleted. There’s even an integrated work calendar to maintain your rotating work schedule.
Field Contact ($4.99)
This app is a great technologically advanced and convenient way to document, photograph, search and share all aspects of your law enforcement contacts directly to your iPhone. Field Contact makes it simple to enter all pertinent I.D. information directly to your iPhone: names, addresses, vehicle information, aliases, location of incident, etc., and the advanced search features allow you to recall stored contacts.
You can add new contacts with numerous law enforcement-specific data fields, and specific data fields have predefined options allowing the user to scroll to his / her desired choice. Miscellaneous fields in the physical description, vehicle and stop locations for user defined information. It also offers the ability to enter multiple vehicles, scars, marks or tattoos, subject related locations and stop locations for each single person. An Android version is in the works.
Miranda Warning ($0.99)
Although many officers don’t generally have to read the Miranda Warning, this iPhone app makes it a piece of cake if you ever do need to do so. It has a black background with white text, which helps and eliminates the loss of night vision during nighttime operations, but it also has a daytime display for day shift officers. The third screen helps you translate the warnings from English to Spanish. There is also a link to Google Translate. Just touch the link and type out what you want to say in English and it translates it to Spanish. There is also an Android version, which is free.
ON THE ROAD
The Vehicle Identification System ($0.99)
The Vehicle Identification System (V.I.S.) is a vehicle image database of almost every vehicle made in the last decade. V.I.S. is designed to be used by law enforcement and security officers while on patrol. V.I.S. can be used to determine what a suspect vehicle looks like when responding to a call. It is also very useful when interviewing victims or witnesses to determine or rule out suspect vehicles. An Android version is available.
DUI Warning and Test Instructions ($0.99) iPhone or iPad
This app is the Implied Consent Warning Card and universal Field Sobriety Test instructions, which are given by tens of thousands police officers in the United States every day. Also included for officers are the clues for each test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand) and the number of clues to fail each test. It also includes a .08 Chart, which allows people to see how each drink affects their blood alcohol level. The chart shows a drink count, per hour, which allows individuals to know how much they can drink before going over .08. No Android version is available yet.
Whether you get to the scene of a medical emergency before an EMT does and you want to help the victim, or you want to be able to identify what types of pills someone is carrying / taking to figure out if they have a mental condition, these apps can help.
Pocket First Aid & CPR ($3.99)
Created by the American Heart Association, the Pocket First Aid & CPR features hundreds of pages with illustrations and covers CPR, choking, bites, bruises, burns, seizures, diabetic emergencies and more. Moreover, there are instructional videos and a place where you can save your own and others’ medical emergency information. An Android version is available.
Psych Drugs (FREE)
With Psych Drugs, you can learn important and useful information about various psychotropic medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety medications. For each medication, you will find the generic name, brand name, class, indications, dosage forms, maximum daily dose for adults and maximum daily dose for children, and half-life. Psych Drugs is fully browseable and searchable. You can use the search box to type a psychotropic medication you are looking for, or you can scroll alphabetically through the list and quickly jump to a letter with an A-Z side panel. Simply tap on the medication to learn about it. Also, you can save your favorites with a touch of a button. Available for the iPhone and Android.
Pill Identifier App – Lite ($0.99) iPhone and iPad
The Lite Pill Identifier App is a searchable database of pill images, which includes more than 14,000 Rx/OTC medications found in the U.S. You can search based on imprint, drug name, color and shape. The app requires an Internet connection to view the pill images. An Android version is in the works.
Created by two ER docs, iTriage helps you answer the questions: What is this medical condition, and where can it be treated? You can search symptoms, learn about potential causes, and then be directed to the most appropriate treatment facility or doctor, including maps and turn-by-turn directions to all provider facilities. The database includes thousands of medical symptoms, diseases, procedures and medications, and offers cClear, concise and useful information. It’s one of the most updated and comprehensive national directories of hospitals, urgent cares, pharmacies, physicians, outpatient clinics, and community health clinics. Available for both iPhone and Android.
If you’re a cop who makes a lot of arrests, you probably spend a lot of time in court. Unless you have a legal background, you might need some assistance to follow along.
Nolo’s Plain English Law Dictionary (FREE)
Nolo offers students, accountants, paralegals, and everyone whose work or life is touched by the law, a complete and up-to-date legal dictionary for the iPhone. Edited by a team of lawyers with expertise in all the vital areas of the law, Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary contains nearly 4,000 legal terms defined in everyday, understandable language. You’ll find both the legal standards—Latin terms, courtroom jargon, contract basics—and newly minted terms that reflect the ever-changing language of the law today. What does it mean to get “dooced”? Do you need that “pre-dup”? It offers the ability to search for terms or you can search only within the definition, or search for key words. There’s also a “word of the day” feature. Internet connection is not required for dictionary use. There’s no Android version available yet.
This is an iPhone-only app that is a legal library in your pocket. LawStack comes preloaded with the following: the U.S. Constitution, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure; Federal Rules of Evidence; and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. There’s an Android version available.
FBI Most Wanted ($1.99)
With this application you could, perhaps, crack a big-time case. See someone who just looks suspicious? Match up their mug on the updated lists of the top 10 fugitives, most-wanted terrorists, breaking news and more. Want to alert the proper authorities? There’s also direct access to contact information for local FBI and U.S. Embassies. Also available for Android phones.
Spanish for Police ($1.99)
This iPhone-only app offers 160 simple Spanish commands and questions for Police and Law Enforcement with written and audio translations, including full Miranda Rights in Spanish. Perfect for Police Officers, State Troopers, Federal Law Enforcement, Sheriff Deputies, Corrections and Security Officers. This is not a simple Spanish dictionary. It’s a unique collection of straightforward phrases designed by and for professional law enforcement.
Phrases are short, and as simple as possible. Audio translations are spoken slowly and are easy to understand and learn. If you turn the phone sideways it becomes a cue card. Every command and question has an audio translation in Spanish. Just touch to play. Categories include common phrases for traffic stops, officer safety and arrest situations, suspect identification, medical emergencies, DUI and HGN, searching suspects, colors, jail / corrections and Miranda rights. A similar Android app is available.
Yesenia Salcedo is a Chicago-based writer and the former Managing Editor of LAW and ORDER magazine. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.