What Are the Social and Environmental Impacts of Police Note-Taking?


What Are the Social and Environmental Impacts of Police Note-Taking?

Police note-taking is an indispensable aspect of policing. This isn’t just an opinion, but a verified fact according to an Ontario court ruling in 2006. 

But this ancient, 150-year-old practice is in desperate need of modernization. Notes can get lost, mistranscribed, or damaged. The lack of automation for notes means that police officers can only record observations of key moments, after the fact.  And the paperwork involved with verifying notes and then putting them into a computer is enormous. 

The environmental impact of note storage

Standard practice by public safety agencies is to keep police notes for 20-99 years. In addition, the continued environmental impact of using paper and the continued safe storage of notebooks.

Assuming a modest 10 notes per police officer per day, that equates to 340 reams of paper a year, every year. That’s over 70 feet of paper every year.

The problem isn’t only the enormous space that must be made for these reams but also the necessary climate control for the warehouses, which is powered by fossil fuels. 

Other problems with lengthy storage

The other major factor with such lengthy storage is cost. Warehouse space, warehouse staff, climate control—these elements must all be covered directly by Canadian taxpayer dollars that could be better spent elsewhere. 

And physical storage is susceptible to water damage, fire damage, physical loss, and sensitive data from an investigation being exposed.  Also, when a case needs to be reopened, valuable man-hours must be spent hunting for old notes, contributing to backlogs in court. 

The solution has eluded industry and policing for centuries

The solution to the above problems lies in providing police officers with a modern alternative to note-taking on paper, one that allows not only note-taking, but which also provides:

  • Voice to text functionality to allow officers to dictate what is happening even when their hands are otherwise occupied.

  • Automatic transfer and backup of notes to secure police servers.  Replacing notebooks in storage boxes, on shelves in warehouses.

  • Instant sharing of notes with investigators to speed up ongoing investigations. 

  • Immediate access to data for intelligence purposes, analytics and for ongoing future use in solving crimes vs stored in a box.

  • Proprietary encryption technology that guarantees evidential integrity from the moment the note was taken to the time it is required in court. 

This is precisely what Digital Mobility’s new Intelligent Mobile Patrol (IMP) app has been designed from the ground up to do. The product of a team of ex-and-current law enforcement officers, IMP was created with a law enforcement officer’s every need in mind. And it will also finally put an end to the environmental damage that paper note-taking and long-time storage is creating.