Metro Atlanta police department first in the country to use new police smart cards

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Police are always looking for new and better ways to serve and interact with the community. Now officers in one metro city are the first in the country to use new technology.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach tagged along with Alpharetta officers to see the smart cards in action.

Officers constantly hand out the paper business cards to give out their contact information. With the smart cards, Alpharetta officers need just one card and citizens just need a phone.

“Tells you my name, my rank, my badge number,” Capt. Mike Stewart said.

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The department is the first in the nation to use the new smart card. It worked with the smart card creators to develop and test the features.

“It’s very powerful and very customizable,” Stewart said. “You can tap the back of a phone, see it pop up there.”

It’s as easy as a tap to pay feature or you can use your camera to scan a QR code. With a couple of clicks, you have the officer’s contact information and can confirm they are who they are.

“It legitimizes the police because when you scan this QR code, it will come up and show you I am an Alpharetta police officer and know that for a fact,” Stewart told Gehlbach.

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Alpharetta officers have been using the smart cards the last couple months. The officers have found it creates conversation and more interaction to connect with the community they serve.

“You have a police officer and a citizen start talking like two citizens. And it just creates a familiarity with the public,” Stewart said.

Users can also click on survey to leave positive feedback or negative. The good ones can get sent that day to the officer to help boost morale, while complaints all go directly to their supervisor.

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The smart card creators are already in development on more features to make the cards even smarter.

“There’s a lot of police departments around the country contacting them that say ‘I like the idea, but could it do this?’ And absolutely, it can,” Stewart said.

This week alone, developers have taken calls from Atlanta Police Department and police in Texas and California.

For those who aren’t tech savvy, don’t worry. Alpharetta officers will still carry old-fashioned cards.

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