Photo database gives mugs a go

End users will inevitably avoid a system if it is too complicated and time consuming to use, but this problem can be critical if it involves information used by police.

The system in question was a 'mug shots' database used by Queensland Police that wasn't integrated with its core operational policing system, Polaris, which is text-based.

This meant police had to first look up suspect details, copy down the information and then launch into the mug shots database separately.

As a result "the image was often not looked up by the police". In response, the Qld Police integrated the Web-based mug shots database into Polaris allowing users to search the on name then hit a button to display the image in a browser window.

Integration was undertaken in-house using WRQ's Reflection product and has now been rolled out across the state.

Queensland Police applications manager Jeff Tendero said the process of adding new features to its existing Unix-based Polaris system was pretty straightforward.

"We used the Microsoft VBA-based standard scripting facilities of Reflection; once the system was in place users needed little training," he said.

"It is certainly unusual to have a text-based system bringing up images and it has added functionality with little effort and cost."

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