Where do the good ideas come from? In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about — and benefit from — some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.New Public Radio System Designed for Monterey County, California
The Harris Corporation will design a new public safety radio system that will improve coverage, reliability, and communication interoperability between local, county, state, and federal first responders and public service agencies within the county of Monterey, California.
The Harris P25IP VHF system includes the Harris Unity XG-100 portable and mobile full-spectrum multiband radio with advanced features, including Bluetooth capability, noise-suppression technology, and encryption.
“As our county population grew to nearly half a million residents, it became clear that the communications requirements of our public safety first responders have outstripped the capabilities of our existing legacy radio system,” said Lynn Diebold, director of Emergency Communications for the county of Monterey, California. “To meet our increasing needs, as well as the new national communications standards, the project team executed a rigorous and open bidding process to identify the right solution. The most attractive system proposed that was flexible, reliable, and allowed the county to leverage existing resources while at the same time realizing a significant cost savings was the Harris P25IP solution.”
The Harris P25IP system is part of the VIDA (Voice, Interoperability, Data, and Access) network, which provides network-level interoperable communications with other public safety agencies. The system consists of a P25IP trunked VHF network with a conventional analog system overlay. In addition, Harris also will deploy a P25IP trunked 700 MHz sub-system to meet the county’s specified requirements within both the city of Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula area.
For more information, visit http://www.harris.com.
Albany, New York, Unveils New Parking System
A new citywide system for issuing parking tickets and collecting fines in Albany, New York, intends to enhance transparency and improve enforcement of the city’s parking regulations. At the core is a software system that links computerized, handheld ticket writers directly to the city’s collections database. Every ticket is tracked from the time it is written until it is ultimately paid or dismissed. New safeguards also allow protection against unauthorized changes.
The Albany Police Department and its officers’ union came under fire for so-called “ghost tickets.” In 2008, a longtime practice of secret tickets containing “bull’s-eye” stickers—carrying no monetary penalties—were issued to private vehicles of city police, spouses, friends, and city-employed civilians. These stickers were placed on windshields so vehicles could park on city streets without fines or penalties. The police department worked with the Albany Parking Authority “to evaluate our options for parking enforcement,” Police Chief Steven Krokoff said. Complus Data Innovations was selected for its “depth of experience, as well as integrating [its] parking ticket management systems in municipalities, particularly in New York State.”
Besides providing enhanced audit capabilities, the system has automated collection notices for delinquent, unpaid tickets. The city expects to see a significant increase in collections over the next several months. Complus Data has demonstrated collections of up to 96 percent for newly issued tickets and up to 80 percent for backlogged, unpaid tickets.
“In addition to improving productivity, our new handhelds should enhance our enforcement capabilities,” Krokoff said. “Each ticket writer has built-in imaging capability, which allows us to capture up to three digital images of a violation. While not all violations require digital imaging, a picture of a blocked driveway or a fire hydrant will assist in any additional court proceedings.”
For more information, visit http://www.complusdata.com.
Online Citizen–Police Reporting System Brings Bluefield, Virginia, Police into the Fold
BobCOP, an online police/citizen crime reporting system, has added the Bluefield, Virginia, Police Department to its group of participating law enforcement agencies. The citizens of Bluefield will now have unprecedented access to their police department, and Bluefield Police will save countless dollars and hours that used to be spent gathering information for minor crimes.
BobCOP is a service that allows police and law enforcement agencies to set up a simple, personalized reporting system to which citizens can directly report minor crimes. The software has a multitude of functions, from complaints and searches to robust database features and storage. It is simple to use for both the police agency and the citizen. BobCOP can run remotely or in-house.
BobCOP is designed to save dollars and time. For minor crimes where there is no immediate suspect or investigation, BobCOP collects information (for example, names, dates, and what happened), freeing officers to work on more serious crimes, while at the same time allowing a citizen to quickly report details of minor crimes.
St. Mary’s, Georgia, Police Department has also benefited from BobCOP. “It has been my experience in working with BobCop that they are very willing and able to assist their clients however they need,” said Sergeant S. D. Brock. “Additions, changes, and new ideas are welcomed and encouraged, and oftentimes they are able to produce results in order to implement ideas and enhance the system.” ■
For more information, visit http://www.bobcop.com.