skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 192161 Find in a Library
Title: Cell Phone Sense
Journal: Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine  Volume:25  Issue:10  Dated:October 2001  Pages:40-44
Author(s): Jo'el Roth
Date Published: October 2001
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the advantages and disadvantages of cell phones as a communication tool for police officers.
Abstract: Cell phones are becoming critical parts of the tool kit for police agencies across the country, although exact numbers are still not available. Some of the more advanced features of cell phones are call conferencing, voice activation, e-mail, and even Internet access and downloading capabilities. Systems in Japan and Europe, which are far ahead of the United States, provide color LCD screens, text messaging, and color streaming video. Although most service providers offer discounts to government employees, there are not many cell systems specifically designed for use by police agencies. An exception is San Diego's Crime Hotline Service, which enables members of the entire San Diego area law enforcement community to make direct calls to the California Highway Patrol, Sheriff's Department, and the City Police Department with no airtime charges over Verizon Wireless. By mandate from the FCC, all cell phones in the United States must now offer one-button 911 calling and automatic location information. A major disadvantage to cell phone use by police agencies is that the cellular industry has not given public safety agencies any priorities in the use of the air waves. Thus, when there is a crisis in a given area, the cellular system crashes due to high demand in a given time frame. Cooperation between government agencies and the commercial wireless industry may improve the communications benefits of cell phones for law enforcement in the future; however, cellular communications are not likely to eliminate the need for reliable police radio systems. 5-item resource list
Main Term(s): Police telecommunications systems
Index Term(s): Police equipment; Telephone communications; Telephone equipment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.