Communication plays a vital role in the day to day job functions as a police officer; therefore officers must possess good communication skills in order to communicate effectively. Officers also use many technological devices in order to communicate information in a timely manner. Combined, communication and technology allow officers to communicate effectively and efficiently with other officers the department and the dispatch center. Technological devices used by police officers are important to a police officer's duties. Some of the devices used by officers are mobile data terminals, cell phones and radios. These device help the officer to communicate throughout the department and with other agencies in a timely manner. .
Mobile data terminals (MDT's) are laptop computers that are mounted in the police cars allowing officers to instantly access information needed to perform their jobs safely. "With MDT's, police officers can run roadside queries of subjects through systems like the National Crime Information Center without having to speak with the dispatcher and wait their turn in line on the radio"(Roufa, n.d). After making an arrest, MDT's can be used to notify the precinct that the suspect has been apprehended and is being brought into the precinct. MDT's can also be used to check driver license, run license plate numbers, language translations writing and submitting reports, and obtaining mugshots and videos. MDT's can also be used as a messaging tool. It allows you to see other officers that are logged then send them a private message like you would on your normal messaging software like instant messenger or google hangouts. Some departments also use portable MDT's or personal data assistants (PDA's) for their foot patrol and bike officer. These tools are very vital to the safety of these officers. .
Continuous software updates make cell phones a reliable means of communication for police officers.