Police officers in the city of Alpharetta in Georgia have become the first in the USA to be issued with contactless smart cards that let members of the public access an officer’s ID badge information and contact details by simply tapping the card with their NFC smartphone.
The contactless cards also enable those who have been the victim of a crime to receive a case number and information about the case via NFC. In addition, members of the public will be able to complete a survey to provide feedback on any interactions with an individual police officer.
A QR code is also included on the smart cards for those who do not have an NFC phone.
“There is a concept called police legitimacy that essentially states that we can be effective in policing a community only so long as the public allows us to do so, and they will only allow us to police the community if they see us as legitimate,” Mike Stewart of the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety says.
“Legitimacy comes from transparency, and we see the smart cards as a way to be even more transparent while also making it easier for the public to interact with us. If you have a good interaction, we want to know. If you have a not so good interaction, we want to know, and in either case, we want it to be easy for you to tell us because that makes it easier for us to identify issues we need to address.”
The card will also make it easier for the department to monitor officers’ performance, customise training and “improve performance and interactions across the agency”.