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AI-Infused Software Looks to Quicken Police Report Writing

A new tool from public safety tech supplier Axon can automatically transcribe audio from the company’s body cameras. Arriving as law enforcement nationwide confronts a hiring crisis, it could free up officers for other duties.

A parked police vehicle with its light bar illuminated at night.
Policing is about paperwork, not just apprehending criminals, and body camera supplier Axon is betting artificial intelligence can make that part of the job easier for officers.

The company’s new Draft One software can create “high-quality police report narratives in seconds based on auto-transcribed body-worn camera audio,” according to a statement Tuesday announcing the product launch.

Axon, which also supplies Tasers and other public safety technology, says the new software can save officers “one or more hours” per day because it creates drafts in seconds, uploading audio from the company’s Body 3 and Body 4 cameras for automatic transcription. The time savings, the company said in the release, can go toward “more meaningful and impactful work, such as investigations, patrol, training, wellness and rest.”

The AI-backed software also includes what Axon calls “safeguards” that ensure reports get human review and approval before they are submitted and become part of the legal and public record.

With police nationwide in the midst of a staffing and hiring crisis, tech vendors focused on public safety are highlighting many of their products with the potential to help ease those pressures. Axon calls Draft One “an immediate force multiplier for the workforce,” reflecting that trend, and pointed out in its announcement that U.S. officers spend up to 15 hours a week on paperwork.

The new product, the company added, frees up officers for other types of work — which in turn can help agencies get the most from the police they do have. Based on trials, Axon claims that for every eight officers who use Draft One, the time savings creates the equivalent of an extra eight-hour shift.

“Every single officer in the U.S. writes police reports, often every day and normally multiple times a day,” said Axon CEO and founder Rick Smith in a statement. “As we’ve done with Draft One, harnessing the power of AI will prove to be one of the most impactful technological advancements of our time to help scale police work and revolutionize the way public safety operates.”

Axon said this launch is part of the company’s “moonshot goal” of reducing police-involved gun-related deaths. That effort includes a database that details such fatalities.