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Back to Archives | Back to July 2011 Contents 

July 2011 Advances & Applications

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.

Brunswick Commercial and Government Products Delivers New Boston Whaler to Lorain County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Department

Brunswick Commercial and Government Products (BCGP) has delivered the 350 Challenger to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio, where it will be used to patrol the border between the United States and Canada on Lake Erie. The Sheriff’s Department is part of a 58-agency task force known as the Northern Border Initiative (NBI). This task force is funded through federal security grant funds administered by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security.

The 350 Challenger is a new Boston Whaler model manufactured by BCGP for military, law enforcement, port security, search and rescue, and workboat operations. The Boston Whaler brand is popular in commercial and military applications because of its durability and construction. The NBI fleet already has several other Boston Whalers in service.

In addition to its rescue and law enforcement duties, the NBI is tasked with scanning watercraft coming across the border for potential radiological or nuclear threats. To help the agency address this requirement, BCGP custom-installed an optional Thermo Scientific RadSPEC unit on the 350 Challenger to detect and identify radiation. When the device detects hazardous material on a vessel, its reach-back feature can upload the data immediately to an analysis center, giving officers real-time feedback about the potential threat.

Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh of the Lorain County Sheriff’s office said, “Lake Erie is the first stop into the continental U.S. for many major international freighters, so with the radiological detection unit, this boat will afford us the best opportunity to catch anything dangerous coming across the border.”

The new 35-foot, 11-inch walk-around cabin model features an open cockpit and center helm layout for 360-degree access to facilitate boardings and other maneuvers. A recessed walk-around flanked by strategically placed grab rails promotes bow access even in adverse conditions. The 350 Challenger holds 421 gallons of fuel and can be powered by dual or triple outboard engines up to 900 total horsepower.

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Oakwood Hills, Illinois, Police Department Upgrades to Rugged Laptops, Saves Money with Rugged Notebooks RNB Eagle

The Oakwood Hills, Illinois, Police Department (PD) was looking for an alternative to using standard personal notebooks to meet its needs but needed a solution that was not as expensive as some fully ruggedized laptops for law enforcement or military use. Said Police Commander Peter Goldman for the village of Oakwood Hills, “In law enforcement, ruggedized laptops need to be the perfect blend of durability and meeting the budgetary constraints that this economy has put every village under.”

That is why Commander Goldman and his department chose the Rugged Notebooks RNB Eagle. It has the ease-of-use of a personal computer but the ruggedness of a professional product. And, because of the cost efficiency of this laptop, the Oakwood Hills PD was able to outfit four vehicles instead of two. “Essentially it was a two-for-one bang for the buck,” said Commander Goldman. “It was about half of the cost of our intended expenditure, so we were able to double our purchase.”

Although department executives looked at other products in the market, the combination of cost and efficiency with the RNB Eagle made the decision an easy one. With that, the Oakwood Hills PD moved from personal computers to rugged laptops.

On a daily basis, these in-car laptops must endure many hazards, from multiple officers using a police vehicle over 24 hours to rough, off-road driving. “We’ve seen zero problems or any concerns with having these permanently mounted in the vehicle,” said Commander Goldman. “The fact that the monitor door is opened and closed on a regular basis—we’ve seen no wear in that aspect either. And, if occasionally someone drops something on the lid by accident when it is shut, we haven’t seen any damage, scuffing, or concerns in that manner. In the past, it had been a problem.”

The transition and learning curve from personal notebook to rugged laptop has been smooth. There was no real training differential other than the new touch screen feature.

For more information, visit

Maumelle, Arkansas, Police Department to Enhance Records Management and Communications with TriTech Software System Applications

The police department of the city of Maumelle, located in Central Arkansas and a neighboring town to Little Rock, is anticipating huge improvements in the administrative and operational workflow with the implementation of its new TriTech Software System’s Imc computer-aided dispatch (CAD); records management system (RMS); mobile; administrative; and bar coding applications. “When you have about 20 officers responsible for 20,000 citizens, saving time on the administration and operations side of the organization will result in big improvements on the service and safety side,” said Mike Wilson, Professional Standards Commander at Maumelle Police Department.

Maumelle Police Department has been using a combined paper and Microsoft Access database system for managing reports and communications for the last decade. Wilson, who has been with the Maumelle Police Department for 21 years, created a 15-table database in 1998 to try and manage all of the department’s records. He started investigating CAD and RMS systems in 2004 to help manage information and workload. After researching several options, the Maumelle Police Department chose TriTech.

“Statistical analysis for evaluation of several key performance areas has been almost impossible to do efficiently in the old system, and, with the new integrated system, data will not only be more accessible, but also more accurate across the department,” said Commander Wilson. “The concept of having a paperless office someday is very intriguing and a possible future objective. The implementation of the TriTech Software System’s Imc CAD, RMS, mobile, administrative, and bar coding applications is a big step in that direction.”

The flow of operations at the Maumelle Police Department will change dramatically with the computerization of tasks. For example, instead of creating multiple paper reports for various departments and personnel, the Imc RMS system makes information available for authorized personnel to access, whether from their mobile or office computers. The mobile software installed in the vehicles is a seamless extension of the RMS data and of the CAD system, which provides real-time mission critical information. ■

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From The Police Chief, vol. 78, no. 7, July 2011. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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