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Criminal records to be accessed on smartphones

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POSTED February 19, 2014 7:11 p.m.

SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Attorney General Kamala Harris says her office has designed a mobile application that will allow law enforcement officers to download criminal records and other information to their smartphones.

She says the California Department of Justice maintains nearly 20 databases, but officers have had to retrieve information from them by radio through a dispatcher.

Harris said Wednesday that radio transmissions can be interrupted or garbled, leading to sometimes dangerous confusion over whether a suspect has a criminal record.

The so-called “mobile justice” app lets officers download the information directly and more quickly.

Harris told those attending the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s Government Affairs Day that she came up with the idea after touring technology companies and discovering that the mobile technology could be adapted for use by law enforcement.

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