Citizens can scan an officer’s smart card to receive ID badge information, contact details, and even provide feedback

The city of Alpharetta, Georgia in the US has become the first police department in the country to begin using a new Police Smart Card platform, designed to provide citizens with simpler and more verifiable way to access officer information.

Alpharetta police officers will carry a smartcard that can be scanned by a smartphone, using either near-field communication (NFC) technology or a QR code. Scanning the card will reveal the officer’s photograph, name, rank, badge number, and contact details. If the officer is taking a report at the time, the case number will also be included. 

In addition to providing information to citizens, the smart card will also allow police departments to collect public feedback about their officers, providing users with a survey related to their experience with the officer.
According to the police department, survey data will be analysed and could be the basis for providing customised training for officers. 
“There is a concept called police legitimacy that essentially states that we can be effective in policing a community only so long as the public allows us to do so, and they will only allow us to police the community if they see us as legitimate,” explained Alpharetta Police Captain Mike Stewart, Mike Stewart.
“Legitimacy comes from transparency, and we see the smart cards as a way to be even more transparent while also making it easier for the public to interact with us. If you have a good interaction, we want to know. If you have a not so good interaction, we want to know, and in either case, we want it to be easy for you to tell us because that makes it easier for us to identify issues we need to address.”
If this pilot programme proves successful, further rollouts could take place across the state, with the state capital Atlanta reportedly considering implementation. 
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