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Advances & Applications

City of Abilene’s Mobile Data Computer System Project

City of Abilene Mobile Data Computer System
L-3 Communications Display Systems (L-3 DS), a provider of public safety systems integration, has successfully completed the mobile data computer system (MDCS) upgrade project for the City of Abilene, Texas. L-3 DS provided overall project management and implementation for the seamless integration of hardware and infrastructure for the city’s police, fire, and rescue vehicles while ensuring continuous, uninterrupted service to and protection of its citizens. The scope of the project included installation of the L-3 DS MobileVu rugged mobile data computer system into 98 vehicles (see photo), of which 30 were completed within a 3-day period, as well as installation of the new 800-megahertz data system, including base station servers, antennas, and mobile data modems.

“Rather than fixate on individual patrol unit installations, L-3 DS project management focused on the overall goal and engaged an aggressive installation schedule with no disruption of mobile-data workflows,” said Jim Berry, assistant chief of police, Abilene Police Department.

The new system was recently put to the test when the city experienced torrential rains and flash floods from Hurricane Erin. “We were able to mobilize our resources quickly and efficiently by utilizing one police and one fire vehicle as mobile command centers. The system operated flawlessly and allowed our incident commanders to stay in control of this volatile situation,” said Assistant Chief Berry.
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Law Enforcement Agencies Assisted by BIO-key

BIO-key International’s recently announced InfoExchange software delivers information from records management systems (RMSs) and other local data sources directly to officers and investigators on the street. The InfoExchange software is fully integrated with MobileCop and PocketCop, BIO-key’s mobile data solutions for laptops and handhelds. Consequently, with a single request, officers can now access local law enforcement information, as well as the national and state data on which they rely to identify dangerous or wanted individuals.

The Kingston, New York, Police Department, a new BIO-key customer, will use InfoExchange to provide direct wireless mobile access to information on individuals and incidents in the department’s RMS. With InfoExchange, the Ocean County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office, another new BIO-key customer, will deliver information from the agency’s case management system to investigators, including the tracking requirements for released sex offenders under Megan’s Law.

Existing BIO-key customer agencies, such as the Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, Sheriff’s Office are also upgrading their systems with the purchase of InfoExchange software. The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, faced with the challenge of enabling its MobileCop users to access information from several local RMS databases, purchased Info-Exchange to ensure ready access to information on the nearly 60,000 individuals processed through its detention facility every year and the 56,000 active warrants issued by the county court system.

“With this much information, we needed an effective way to share master name records and warrant status,” said Sergeant Matt Jackson of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. “We didn’t want to force law enforcement officers to run an individual’s credentials through separate applications. With InfoExchange, we will be able to provide a single name search and return information from multiple databases.”
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Shawano County Sheriff’s Department Upgrades Its Systems with Help from Moducom

The Shawano County, Wisconsin, Sheriff’s Department is a small department serving a large, rural area of over 900 square miles. Although the resident population is only about 70,000–80,000, tourists can double that number. The department dispatches 36 different fire, EMS, and ambulance services; employs about 80 sworn officers and 16 full-time dispatchers; and has five working positions.

In order to become Phase II compliant, the department direly needed to upgrade its 9-1-1 equipment. In addition, it was ready for new phone and radio dispatch systems. Due diligence required Sergeant Bill Mott to obtain bids for system upgrades from several manufacturers, but he soon realized that most manufacturers would have to piece together components to create one cohesive system, likely costing the department over $400,000. Sergeant Mott said that after researching many brands at trade shows and visiting other law enforcement agencies, the department found Moducom’s UltraCom system. This system offered everything Shawano County needed, including radio dispatch, phone, and enhanced 9-1-1 (E911) services. Moducom demonstrated its all-in-one, single-application system—available for less than half the price of any other system—and Sergeant Mott was sold.

Since its installation in 2004, Sergeant Mott says that the Moducom UltraCom system “has been wonderful! It’s very user-friendly, which is the most important feature. And it gives us three options for communicating: touch screen, mouse, or foot pedal. I have nothing but good to say about it!” When asked for other important features of their new radio dispatch/E911/phone system, Sergeant Mott had this to say: “Being able to customize as needed is wonderful, too. Moducom has allowed us enough knowledge that we can troubleshoot without having to call support. That means no downtime—which of course saves lives!”■
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From The Police Chief, vol. 74, no. 10, October 2007. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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