Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Computers in cruisers will aid Mason officers



By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - City police cruisers are being equipped with computers that will eventually allow officers to complete reports and tap into a database of information from the driver's seat.

The 13 mobile data computers should be installed by mid-October, with the hope that the officers will be able to do reports within the city's software program by the end of the year, said Assistant City Manager Eric Hansen.

Eventually, the computers will be connected to a countywide computer-aided dispatching system. Warren County is still in the process of implementing all the aspects of the system and the records management software.

The computers also will be connected to Ohio's law enforcement automated data system as well.

The in-car terminals allow officers to look up information themselves, such as vehicle registration and records checks.

"Prior to that, they'd have to get on the radio and wait for airtime with the dispatcher," said Frank Young, director of Warren County's emergency management system.

"It's much more efficient for the officer in the field."

The county is providing two of the computers to each jurisdiction, he added.

City Council approved a $73,320 contract with Independence Communications Inc. for the 13 mobile data computers, installation and software upgrades. A grant the city received in 1999 will pay for $52,500 of that cost.

Other area police agencies, including Lebanon, also have invested in the technology.

E-mail esolvig@enquirer.com




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