The Groveland Police Department recently began a new patrol system for businesses that gives officers high-tech tools to provide added security. Groveland police are thought to be the first in the county to use the new QR-Patrol, which turns the officers’ cell phones into multi-media communication and reporting devices.
Traditionally, police officers make their rounds from patrol cars, using a spotlight to check on possible tampered locks or unauthorized people inside businesses. With the new QR Patrol system, Groveland police officers get a closer look at the business and can document with images or audio any unusual circumstances. They also can pull up a profile on the business.
The new system is popular among business owners, with a growing number signing up. There is no charge to the owner. Businesses fill out an application that includes emergency contacts. Participating businesses’ information is loaded into all the patrol officers’ cell phones.
Once a company is registered, an officer applies a unique, Quick Response (QR) Patrol decal near the entrance of the business. When officers patrol the facility, they scan the code, which documents the time they were at the business and who was on patrol. The system also records the location by longitude and latitude. If there are signs of a break-in, or other unusual sights or sounds, those can be transmitted by the phone.
The City is one of the participants and has QR Patrol codes on all the city buildings.
Chief Shawn Ramsey said, “What appeals to me about the program is that it provides another tool that encourages our officers to engage directly with businesses and business owners in an effort to be more vigilant and even more community-oriented.”
The cost to the city for the new program is about $600.