WALL, N.J. , Nov. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BIO-key International, Inc.
(OTC Bulletin Board: BKYI), a leader in finger-based biometric identification
and wireless public safety, announced today that it was recently awarded
contracts from three law enforcement customers for its PocketCop mobile data
solution for BlackBerry(R) smartphones from Research In Motion (RIM)
(Nasdaq: RIMM). The awarded contracts came from the St. Paul, MN Police
Department, the Baltimore, MD Police Department and the Hawaii County Police
Department. The awards collectively amount to over
As St. Paul, MN prepared for the city's role as host of the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC), the St. Paul Police Department targeted PocketCop as a key component in its plan for protecting the safety of delegates and visitors, as well as its own officers. The St. Paul Police Department's first priority for PocketCop deployment was line officers such as the foot patrol unit assigned to the downtown area, who don't have access to MobileCop(R), BIO-key's mobile data solution for in-vehicle laptops. Utilizing PocketCop enabled line officers to receive dispatch calls without tying up dispatchers or radios. PocketCop provided officers with direct access to federal and state databases for information on individuals involved in incidents including: obtaining driver's license photo to verify identity; and immediate access to any outstanding arrest warrants.
PocketCop's silent, text-based messaging functionality provided significant benefit to St. Paul's police officers monitoring street traffic during the RNC. The noise generated by the large crowds and loudspeakers at RNC events and demonstrations made it next to impossible to hear or communicate clearly via radio. PocketCop enabled foot patrol officers to maintain a visible presence on the street and still communicate with each other and with MobileCop users and dispatchers, keeping everyone better informed and aware of what was going on.
Since the RNC, the St. Paul Police Department has found that the cell phone capability of BlackBerry smartphones has helped support the Department's community policing initiative. Store managers in the downtown area can now call an officer directly to intervene in a situation before it becomes an incident or to provide new information on a previously-reported incident. This eliminates the need for the officer to carry a separate cell phone or pager, or for the dispatcher to relay information over the radio.
The Hawaii Police Department's decision to deploy PocketCop was based on a need to keep watch commanders in constant contact with their field units, given the 4,000 square miles that the island of Hawaii encompasses. Hawaii Police Department Major Sam Thomas said that PocketCop was the ideal solution. "In addition to having law enforcement data at their fingertips just as their officers do with MobileCop, with the messaging interoperability between the two platforms our lieutenants and captains can now use PocketCop to send announcements to all their mobile units or communicate in real time with individual officers, wherever they are."
The Baltimore Police Department determined that PocketCop was an essential item for Violent Crime Impact Division investigators who may be on foot or in unmarked cars. "Everybody wants one," commented Frank Zapushek , the Baltimore Police Department's mobile data system administrator. At a known gang activity or drug location, for example, undercover officers and investigators can run a license plate to identify the driver and make sure the vehicle hasn't been reported as stolen. "Because BlackBerry smartphones are everywhere now, an undercover officer using one while on surveillance doesn't draw attention," Zapushek observed.