Austin Police Department Deploys AI
The Austin Police Department (APD) has recently launched an Artificial Intelligence-based (AI) reporting system for non-emergency police reports in response to the staffing crisis that the department is currently facing.
The Austin Police Department said it partnered with Versaterm Public Safety’s Case Service to launch the new AI reporting software, Fox News reported. The AI is designed to operate through voice, mobile, web, and text messaging and asks questions to the public to fill out a report that provides “key information” to the department within hours. It can file reports on a wide range of incidents, including minor assaults, theft, damaged property, harassment, identity theft, forgery, and counterfeiting. Reports can be filed in multiple languages, and a case number is assigned to the person who made the report.
The deployment of the AI-based software is seen as a step towards alleviating the current backlog for Austin Police Department non-emergency requests submitted via 3-1-1 and providing community members personalized attention to their incidents. The new program is expected to reduce wait times for community members and speed up the investigation process. The Austin Police Department plans to expand the use of Case Service further upon the successful deployment of this first phase.
The deployment of AI-based software is an innovative solution for police departments facing staffing crises. In the case of the Austin Police Department, they are facing serious staffing issues, with 40 officers filing retirement papers in response to the city council’s decision to scrap a four-year contract that the city agreed to. Budget cuts during the George Floyd unrest in 2020 slashed police cadet classes and sent staffing in a downward spiral that could take more than 10 years to recover from, according to police sources.
The use of AI in non-emergency reporting is expected to reduce the workload for officers in the Austin Police Department, who can focus on emergency situations that require their attention. It is also expected to improve the quality of non-emergency reporting, leading to more efficient and effective investigations.