Skip to main content
Toughbook in Police and Emergency

It’s not Robocop but mobile tech is helping Police and Emergency services across Europe

Written by Daichi Kato, Head of Panasonic Mobile Solutions Business Division Europe

It’s not Robocop but mobile tech is helping Police and Emergency services across Europe

I have very fond childhood memories and, to this day, a great sense of pride that my father served in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. I’m fortunate enough to have some great family photos that remind me of that time; me riding on the front of the motorcycle and standing with the family in front of his police car. I think this upbringing, combined with my role at Panasonic TOUGHBOOK, is one of the main reasons to this day that I am fascinated by the role mobile technology can play in helping the police, the emergency services and wider public sector.

Daichi Police Morotcycle

During my time working for Panasonic in the US, I was pleased to see the widespread adoption of our rugged mobile computing devices across the emergency services and public sector. In fact, public sector was the leading area for sales. I compared this to the numbers when I joined Panasonic TOUGHBOOK in Europe in 2018 and was surprised  that in comparison with the US we were significantly less represented in the public sector. What was the reason, I asked. The US police cars and emergency services vehicles are much bigger than ours. There is much more room to fit a TOUGHBOOK device, they suggested.

I knew this couldn’t be the only reason and after much research, dialogue and now some great successes, I have come to realise that the reason was our prioritisation… not the small cars! As mobile workforces have evolved, so have their needs for specialist mobile computing devices and although there are needs that transcend industry sectors, most mobile workforces prioritise there needs differently.

Take the police force, for example. When we talked with and listened to European police forces they told us that data and device security, the ability to use the device in all weathers and support for transitioning from traditional to tech-enabled methods was critical to them – as well as ensuring that the devices could fit into Europe’s smaller vehicles.

As a result, we have prioritised areas such as removable and encrypted drives for data security, continued to improve our rugged and ergonomic design and added professional services capabilities to help with everything from the fast creation of new application software to designing specialist vehicle docks for any size vehicle.

This process of focus, listening and responding to needs is being well received by the emergency services and the wider public sector. It’s terrific to see the London police officers where I live now using Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices as they go about their work in the community.

And we continue to develop, to meet their evolving needs. Take, for example, the plans for the emergency services’ communication networks to be replaced across Europe. Our devices will be fit for purpose with the latest communication systems as they come online. In the UK, Panasonic was the first to have a Microsoft Windows device authorised for use on the new Emergency Services Network (ESN).

When I hear comments, such as those from an officer at Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, who said: “We are only just scratching the surface of the capabilities of the TOUGHBOOK. We’re looking forward to unlocking even more potential.” It reminds me of Panasonic’s Business Philosophy and in particular its commitment to “Contribution to Society.” We are a business, but also one with a social purpose and it’s great to know that our solutions are so valued.

Daichi Katos family

Possibly, the most heart-warming response I have received to date, when sharing my police-related family history and photos at a recent presentation, was an officer that took the time to email me with photos of his father in uniform. He said my presentation had struck a chord with him and reminded him of the fact that the only technology his father had carried with him on duty in the UK in the 1950’s was his police issued whistle. How times have changed.

Hopefully Panasonic‘s focus on providing the best rugged mobile computing devices to the public sector across Europe is helping to make our communities safer for everyone.

Find out more about TOUGHBOOK for the emergency services.

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss any of the topics featured on this blog or want one of our experts to get in touch to see how we can help with your IT mobility challenges, then please use the Contact Us button to get in touch.

Get in touch