Staunton Police Force Goes Mobile with NeoAccel VPN
NeoAccel announces that the City of Staunton, Virginia, has deployed its SSL VPNPlus product as part of a mobile data network solution for its police force. SSL VPN-Plus is designed to provide a fast, efficient, secure, and automated connection from laptops in patrol vehicles to a police data server via a cellular data network, allowing law enforcement personnel to instantly access information about vehicle registration, driver’s licenses, and so on.
The SSL VPN-Plus eliminates the client configuration issues presented by other products while complying with the department’s overall network security policies. In addition, the product is engineered to deliver secure communications requests with transmission speeds up to 80 times faster than other SSL VPN products.
To eliminate user errors, the City of Staunton set the browser-based SSL VPN-Plus product to launch automatically and present a login screen whenever personnel power up the laptop in a vehicle. This eliminates technical support problems and configuration issues common to clientbased VPN solutions and thereby lowers costs.
SSL VPN-Plus automatically performs endpoint security checks when users log in, ensuring that systems in the field have up-to-date virus protection and security patches installed. In addition, SSL VPN-Plus is the only VPN product that offers highly granular access control, enabling the Staunton Police Department to restrict access to specific data center servers and applications based on the specific user’s login information.
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Reno Police Adopt Skills Manager Software to Track Employee Records, Recertifications
Law enforcement agencies that find it hard and time consuming to track their officers’ training and maintain accurate personnel records may want to adopt the solution chosen by the Reno, Nevada, Police Department for a similar challenge. After wrestling with a generic learning management system (LMS), the department acquired a software program tailored specifically for managing all aspects of police officer training, from date of hire to retirement.
This Windows-based software, the Skills Manager records management system from Crown Pointe Technologies, Inc., is designed to administer and document employee records, certifications, and both general and firearms training, plus employment and education.
According to Susi Havens, administrator of the Reno Police Department’s training division, the biggest hurdle with the generic LMS software was that, like many municipalities, the City of Reno held the original software’s license, which meant that numerous city departments were using the software, including the police department.
Now, says Havens, Skills Manager keeps officers’ records separate from those of other city employees while simplifying other crucial aspects of police training administration. Havens says that Skills Manager “has been an extreme timesaver. It’s reduced the number of people required for data entry and documentation.”
Another advantage that the Reno Police Department sees with its new LMS software is the ability to record special training offered to visiting officers from outside agencies within Skills Manager and e-mail the appropriate police department, confirming attendance and details about the course.
The software is also structured to document all aspects of firearms use, from the type of weapons a particular officer uses to training sessions and firearms test scores, among other check items.
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ACS Helps Drivers and Light-Rail Passengers Stay Safe in Los Angeles
Railroad crossing fatalities involving trains and vehicles on one of the busiest light-rail lines in the United States have plummeted 75 percent since Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (ACS), began photo enforcement in 1995.
ACS photo enforcement cameras monitor 19 crossings along the 22 miles of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Blue Line between downtown Los Angeles and downtown Long Beach. The cameras capture the license plates of motorists who ignore the crossing arms, allowing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) to issue a citation. When the system was installed in 1995, citations averaged over 1,200 per month. Today, the Sheriff’s Department issues an average of 400 citations per month, a reduction of 67 percent in total violations at enforced intersections. Each citation costs the violator $381.
“Nothing is more important than public safety. And the statistics clearly show that this technology has dramatically improved our law enforcement efforts in saving lives,” said Captain Eric Hamilton, Transit Services South Bureau, LASD.
The MTA also noted a reduction in citations related to a careless and illegal behavior along its railroad tracks. Abdul Zohbi, manager of systems safety and photo enforcement project manager for the MTA, noted that accidents caused by motorists making illegal left turns have been reduced by 62 percent since left-turn enforcement began in 2004.
“The Blue Line is the longest commuter rail line in the country and one of the busiest,” Zohbi said. “ACS’s red-light photo enforcement technology has played a significant role in reducing fatalities and promoting safety for Los Angeles residents.”
When the Orange Line dedicated busway opened in the San Fernando Valley in 2005, the MTA saw a need for additional cameras and asked ACS to install cameras at 12 crossings along the line.¦
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