The New Zealand Police Department will be pushing 10,000 of Apple’s iOS devices out to their officers on the frontlines. The rollout will take place over the next few months. The department opted to go with iPhones and iPads after testing with multiple platforms.
In an announcement on Wednesday, Prime Minister John Key and Police Minister Anne Tolley said 6,000 frontline police will be receiving an iPhone as part of the initiative, 3,900 of whom will also get an iPad, reports New Zealand publication The National Business Review. The move to Apple’s iOS comes as the department shifts communications providers from Telecom to Vodafone.
The cost of rolling out the program over the three month period will be NZ$4.3 million, or about US$3.65 million. Total funding costs will be NZ$159 million, or about US$134.7 million, over the next ten years. The investment should bring productivity benefits of NZ$305 million, or roughly US$258.5 million, during the ten-year span.
New Zealand Police Chief Information Officer Stephen Crombie said the decision to go with iOS instead of Google’s Android or the BlackBerry was the result of an 11-month trial period involving 100 officers.
“The trial showed the most useful tools for officers were small personal devices for making phone calls or text messaging, accessing email, and accessing information and photo databases, and a larger such as a laptop or tablet for staff who need to do more data entry,” Crombie said. “Based on frontline officer feedback from the trial the preferred devices are the iPhone as smartphone and iPad for the tablet. The approach used to develop the applications means Police can move to other devices with relative ease as technology changes.”