January 14, 2012

California Police Agencies Lead the Way with High-Tech on Patrol

INTERNET ACCESS, real-time communications and other tech are delivering faster and better information to cops in California.

Despite the economic and bureaucratic challenges of today's local and state government, California's police agencies - the largest of their kind in the nation - are finding cost-effective solutions to bring the Web and the latest communications gadgets into patrol vehicles.

In November, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced that it's replacing mid-1980s-era mobile digital technology with a mobile data computer system that has been battle-tested by soldiers in Iraq. The new state-of-the-art computer systems are being installed in more than 2,400 vehicles and allow deputies to access the following:

  • Sheriff's Data Network and criminal databases, including FBI records
  • Email
  • California DMV photos
  • GPS routing to emergency calls
  • Biometric data, such as fingerprints
Then there's the California Highway Patrol, which is responsible for 15,181 miles of highway in the Golden State.

Recognizing the need for effective interoperable communications during an emergency, CHP has taken nine Chevy Tahoes and transformed them into sophisticated SUXs called Incident Command Vehicles that operate as public safety command centers on wheels. Each vehicle is a buzzing trove of high-tech connectivity with the latest communications equipment, including satellite, cellular, VoIP and Internet access. At the center of this mobile command and control unit is the ACU-1000, which can cross-connect different radio networks, connect those networks to phone or satellite systems and function as a network connection on its own.

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