Ga. cops carrying 'smart cards' with QR codes to improve citizen interactions

Alpharetta officials say the Police Smart Card program will help build community relationships and improve police training

By Suzie Ziegler 

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Police officers' business cards in Alpharetta, Georgia, are getting an upgrade. Officers will now be carrying a “smart card” with a QR code that citizens can scan after a police encounter, the City of Alpharetta wrote in a press release this week. 

The QR code lets citizens access the officers’ badge number, contact information, case number, and complete a CALEA-compliant, transparent survey to review their interaction with the officer. Citizens will also be able to share information about their case with the officer. 

Police say the program aims to build stronger, positive relationships with the community and increase transparency to improve community perception of police. 

“We see the smart cards as a way to be even more transparent while also making it easier for the public to interact with us,” said Cpt. Mike Stewart in a statement. “If you have a good interaction, we want to know. If you have a not so good interaction, we want to know, and in either case, we want it to be easy for you to tell us because that makes it easier for us to identify issues we need to address.” 

Stewart says the smart cards will also help the city track officer performance, which will help customize training for each officer, according to the release. 

[RELATED: Va. PD lets citizens rate police encounters with digital report cards]

Alpharetta Police has been piloting the program with Police Smart Card, a company that describes its product as “the world’s only fully featured police smart ID card.” 

While officers still carry physical cards, citizens can scan the card with their phone to access web-based details about their case and the officer. No app download is required. 

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