Reporting Mai Martinez
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SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) – You know that police carry guns and handcuffs, but in one Chicago suburb they’re adding iPhones as high-tech crime-fighting weapons.
Taxpayers don’t have to worry about picking up the tab for the new phones.
As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, drug dealers are doing that.
Schaumburg Police Detective Christopher Nowicki spends hours a day on his iPhone 4-S, but he’s not playing games — he’s fighting crime.
“We’re using them every single day,” Nowicki says.
Schaumburg police bought 24 of the phones using federal drug-seizure money. Detective say they’ve proven to be invaluable.
“On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 10,” Nowicki says.
He says that’s because the phone combines several technologies into one device, allowing police to not only collect evidence but share it rapidly with officers in the field.
The phones have also improved surveillance operations, thanks to Google maps. And the GPS tracking makes undercover officers hard to spot when tailing suspects.
Chief Brian Howerton credits the iPhones with 46 arrests in the past four months. In one of the most recent, Miguel Alfaro was busted during a drug deal.
“It’s ironic that you are using the actual offender’s money to bring other offenders to justice,” Howerton says.
Chief Howerton says the phones have been so effective, they’re getting more, and he hopes one day to have one for every officer.
While the iPhones were purchased with federal drug-seizure money, the village does have to pay for service plans.