Irish Police authority: Police should pay for their own mobiles

After my post yesterday about the Baltimore Police force’s introduction of 2,080 networked BlackBerries all running InterAct’s PocketCop application, quite a few readers including David Doherty contacted me to tell me about this simply ridiculous story in the Irish Examiner: Garda body issues legal threat over phone bill.

Here’s the background: A police officer (or Garda, as they’re known in Ireland) who was giving chase to two suspects found himself cornered by them. Indeed, the suspects decided to beat the poor chap up and throw him down an embankment. Not before they got stuck into his car tyres and stamped/smashed his €250 Samsung handset.

Luckily the chap wasn’t serious injured. But, of course, his Samsung was a write off.

No matter.

You’d expect the Garda authorities to sort him out with a refund or replacement or something like that.

But no.

It seems the Samsung handset was an unofficial device. Since it was the officer’s own personal handset, the authorities have stuck their hands across their chests and refused to pay for compensation.

The handset is required, you see, because of the rather rubbish (“spotty”) radio system that requires officers to often use their own handsets to communicate with colleagues and their base.

Senior Garda management aren’t listening. Their view, it seems, is that since the device was personal property — and despite it being deliberately smashed — it’s the officer’s problem for carrying a mobile phone.

I think it’s absolutely ridiculous and I can see why the Garda union (“GRA)” is going nuts with annoyance.

How long before the Garda management decides to take a leaf out of the Baltimore Police Force’s book and deploy an efficient information distribution and dissemination system such as PocketCop for BlackBerry to each police officer? Years. Decades. Don’t hold your breath.

And where the is Samsung when a little bit of public relations finesse could be useful here?

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/cnwQ4)

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