Law enforcement goes virtual: cops turn to Skype

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

When police in Palm Beach hope to make an arrest in DUI cases, they turn to Skype - the popular video calling and chat application.

Why, you ask? 

"When it comes to impairment, time is of the essence," explained Cpl. Morgan.

"The goal is get the most accurate capture of evidence closest to the time of the incident and our experience using Skype helps us do that."

Indeed, Skype expedites the process of obtaining blood search warrants for DUI suspects.

The system, developed by Judge David Silverman and various prosecutors, is used like a virtual courtroom.

Officers leverage email to forward documents to the judge who then holds a Skype conference to issue warrants, allowing a suspect's blood to be drawn.

"It's like a virtual office and courtroom," Morgan added. "If an officer can stay within his patrol zone instead of having to drive to the courthouse or the judge's house to obtain the warrant, it saves time and increases the officers ability to protect the public."

Could Skype help out in other types of crimes?

Of course. Any tool that connects law enforcement to relevant evidence and offers easy access to police across states lines could potentially expedite the judicial process. 

(Via Palm Beach Post