More than ten years after the debut of the iPhone, Santa Monica police officers may soon be getting their hands on smartphones as part of their standard issued equipment. On Tuesday, the City Council will consider granting a $730,000 purchase order for 345 “rugged mobile phone tablets” for officers and civilian employees.

The mobile devices are not carried by your typical AT&T or Sprint store. The Panasonic FZ-N1 and FZ-XI both meet or exceed FBI requirements for criminal justice data security, according to a recent report by Chief Information Officer Joseph Cevetello. A recent Google search found the models running for between $1,200 and $1,600 online. The “toughpad” tablets advertise military grade toughness and can survive thirty minutes underwater, ten-foot drops onto solid concrete and subzero temperatures. The tablets run on an Android-based operating system.

The phones will be able to receive real-time call-for-service information and status updates from dispatch as well as access Department of Justice databases to identify wanted individuals and cars. They will also transmit directly to the SMPD’s records management system to allow real-time tracking of field contacts.

Eventually, the phones will even replace the officers’ infamous ticket booklets. The department is looking into mobile printers that can be installed in police cars.

Cevetello says the phones will help SMPD comply with the 2015 Racial and Identify Profiling Act that mandates all law enforcement agencies report the demographic data on people contacted during the course of enforcement stops. Because of SMPD’s size, the mandate does not go into effect until 2022. Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks set a goal for the department to begin capturing the data by Jan. 2018.

The purchase order with Lehr Auto Electric would include the phones, batteries, charges and five years of maintenance and repairs, including repairs for accidental damage. City staff looked into leasing the equipment, but found the cost would be about 15 percent more than purchasing.

kate@www.smdp.com