Cool new gadgets for EBR deputies will 'transform law enforcement,' agency says
BATON ROUGE – The sheriff’s office touted a revolutionary crime-fighting system Tuesday that will allow deputies to access information instantly – whether writing a ticket, responding to nuisance complaints or investigating more heinous crimes.
The system – mixed with special software deputies can use through a smartphone or a handheld device – is designed to help law enforcement be more effective and swifter. Deputies will be able to look through all databases within the sheriff’s office in addition to information citizens share with the agency.
“Having this technology makes our deputies more efficient and effective, better prepared and safer. It’s important to me to ensure they are best equipped to protect and serve the community,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said in a statement about the new program Tuesday.
The devices can “transform law enforcement,” the agency said in a news release revealing the functionality.
The software will tie in to live camera feeds, geographical maps and all record-keeping systems. The specialized handheld devices will also be equipped with a close-range license plate reader, vehicle identification and driver’s license scanner and GPS tracking. The software is compatible with mainstream smartphones and does not need to be used directly with the handheld, called Gismo.
The software is called Sheriff 365.
“I’m proud to be the first law enforcement agency to use this technology and be able to put it where it is needed most-- in the hands of deputies on the streets,” Gautreaux said.
The Gismo device will be synced with the Sheriff 365 software to buzz and vibrate and notify deputies when a crime is reported near their location.
“Gismo is a handheld operations center,” the sheriff said.
The new system will integrate all record-keeping systems – jail reports, accident reports, arrest reports, warrants and evidence management.
Deputies will also be able to use a voice dictation system, photo and video capture and location tagging to streamline data needed for various investigations.
“By streamlining our record keeping, we can reduce redundancy and human error. We can speed up the process and diminish deputies’ paper workload. This means we can spend less time reporting and more time protecting,” Sheriff Gautreaux said.
“We have plans to use the software’s shot-spotter integration capabilities to setup for automatic drone deployment to shots fired. We can not only stream live video from any registered camera, but also from our aviation division’s thermal imaging devices. Knowledge is awareness; and awareness means safety- for our deputies and our community.”
The new systems were developed by Baton Rouge-based General Informatics. The local business has been developing and fine-tuning the technology for the past decade.
“Gismo is many systems rolled into one that is designed for easy use. It is intelligent software that brings information together in a single pane. This allows deputies to make critical decisions themselves while in the field without wasting time,” Mo Vij, Gismo’s inventor said.
The department expects to see a cost-savings.
Software licensing costs about $995. Each handheld device costs $1,689. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office compared it to the cost of a license plate reader for a patrol unit – $14,000.
Five of the new, handheld devices are in service and assigned to deputies in the regular patrol division, traffic and Special Community Anti-Crime Team. The agency plans to issue 15 additional devices to patrol deputies in the coming weeks with an option to secure even more.