policeblotter_sfa.jpgSan Francisco city officials Monday unveiled a new mobile app that police officers will use to file reports remotely and look up information about a case.

The technology is expected to save officers a few hours a day that would otherwise be spent traveling back to a district station to write out a report manually, police Chief Greg Suhr said.

“This is, in fact, the Batcomputer,” Suhr said in a reference to the advanced technology used in the Batman comic books and movies.

The app, designed by the local company ArcTouch, will feature speech-to-text software, GPS and other technology, and will also connect to the Police Department’s new database, the Crime Data Warehouse, which includes information on cases dating back to 1981.

Mayor Ed Lee said the writing of reports at the stations has “hampered our Police Department’s use of efficient time” and the app will allow officers to be “still physically there in the neighborhood.”

The pilot project is being funded via a $100,000 donation by San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation (sf.citi), a group of nearly 300 local tech companies advocating for the industry’s interests.

Hewlett-Packard also donated 60 new HP Ultrabook laptop computers so officers can immediately begin training with the new database.

Suhr said the app will give San Francisco “the most efficient, technologically progressive police department” and make the city “as safe a community as there is in the country.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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