San Jose police department are using a new mobile dispatch system that includes a touch-screen computer based on Microsoft’s Windows in every patrol car. It allows them to receive orders, send messages, write reports, call up maps of the city and, using GPS, see where they are and where other patrol cars are at any given time. But the system is so complex that routine tasks have become too difficult. For example, the “call for assistance” command that officers use when they are in danger, is needlessly complicated.
Officers were not consulted about the design of the user interface. Many have said that they wish the department had retained and upgraded the old system, in place since 1990.
Details in International Herald Tribune.