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Speech Recognition for Law Enforcement

Documentation is an essential function in law enforcement. It needs to be accurate and thorough, but not so time-consuming that it compromises other critical functions of public safety officers. Increasingly, law enforcement agencies are using speech recognition software to complete reports while avoiding the laborious task of hand typing.

How can speech recognition software assist you or your officers?

  • Speech recognition software is inexpensive, simple to use, works on any recent vintage Windows-based pc, and allows rapid creation of text using voice in virtually all common word processing and report-generating programs.

  • Speech recognition software allows simple command and control functionality within a computer which can streamline computer based functions both in the office and while on the road

  • Use of simple-to-create "commands" or macros allows insertion of commonly used text with a simple voice command

See it in Action

Sometimes "seeing is believing". See how a police department in Clearwater, Florida has used speech recognition software to improve officer productivity.


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Need something in writing? Click here to view a Nuance "white paper" on the experience of the Clearwater Police Department with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Getting Started

Hardware (Computer):

1. A relatively recent vintage computer (either laptop or desktop) is needed. The bare bones requirements are a Windows based PC with the specifications shown below. If your officer intends to create reports while on the road or already has a good quality laptop, a laptop computer will be far more practical than a desktop unit. In general, faster processors are associated with better performance in terms of speed, but not necessarily any difference in accuracy. At least 2 MB of RAM is recommended.

2. A good quality microphone: Dragon NaturallySpeaking is packaged with a starter microphone which will give reasonable results and we recommend that you start with this microphone when making an assessment as to whether speech recognition software is a workable solution for you or your department. If it works, though, but accuracy isn't quite to the level you expect, then we suggest that you consider upgrading to a better microphone. Some common upgrade scenarios are listed below:

Inexpensive Replacement: Are you using Dragon non-mission-critical dictation but lost the microphone that came with your product and looking for an inexpensive replacement? Check out the Cyber Acoustics AC101 or AC201. They're comfortable, durable, inexpensive, and work fine.

Cost effective upgrade: Looking to upgrade from the microphone that came with Dragon but have a limited budget? Consider the Radio Shack Sennheiser knockoff. This product offers a significant improvement in the accuracy and external noise rejection without emptying your wallet.

Best Wired Microphone: Looking for the highest quality wired microphone? Money not a major limitation? See Microphones for Advanced Users and consider any of the following:

Best Wireless Microphone with simultaneous wired telephone use: Looking for the best wireless microphone that can also be used with your wired telephone? Pick the Sennheiser SD Pro-1 (one speaker) or SD Pro-2 (two speakers). Sennheiser knows how to do it right and these are the mics that sit on OUR desks. We love them!

Best Wireless Microphone for computer use only: If you absolutely need bluetooth, consider the VXI Xpress. We should warn you, though, BlueTooth can be trickly and we get a lot of returns on virtually every Bluetooth device we sell. For a high quality wireless headset microphone which is also great for listening to music and that works on a "plug-and-play" basis (no connection issues), consider the Andrea WNC 1500.

Best hand-held mic for use with Dragon:

Best Desktop Microphone: Want a high quality desktop microphone without a lot of complications? Choose the Speechware 3-in-1, 6-in-1 or 9-in-1 Tablemike (see "Desktop Microphones").


Dragon 12 Legal EditionDepending upon the extent of speech recognition use, either the Premium or Professional version of the software may be used. These are the basic differences:


Although accuracy is amazing good out of the box, users will definitely benefit from time getting to know the software and being trained on its extensive functionality. There are several ways in which this can happen:

Recommended Products:

Sennheiser ME3 Combination Package

Recommended package for best speech recognition results!

Sennheiser ME3 ComboFor predictably great results we recommend using the Sennheiser ME3 with the Andrea USB sound adapter. This is our best selling microphone and the one we use ourselves.

To make the purchase of this relatively expensive hardware a bit more bearable, we offer special savings when you purchase all three of the main items in this package.

Included in the package:

Comments: We believe that with suitable hardware and good enunciation, this package will offer the best accuracy and unrivaled noise cancellation. This is the microphone to which all others are compared.

Special Combo with Sennheiser ME3 (standard audio plug) and Andrea USB Sound Adapter.

MSRP: $247.95

Learn more

Recycle SymbolIf your budget is extremely tight, consider purchasing a "barely used" version of this product from our stock of returned items. Learn more ...

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