The San Diego Harbor Police Department (San Diego Harbor PD) awarded a contract to Bio-Key International to deploy the company's automated vehicle location (AVL) capability in its patrol vehicles. San Diego Harbor PD, has primary public safety and homeland security responsibility within the San Diego Unified Port District, which includes cargo and cruise ship terminals and the San Diego International Airport, as well as law enforcement and marine firefighting in San Diego Bay.

Under the new contract, AVL is now integrated with BIO-key's MobileCop mobile data software, allowing vehicle location data to be automatically transmitted to San Diego Harbor PD's Homeland Security geographic information system (GIS). "The use of MobileCop and its AVL capability has been critical to our GIS deployment," said Thomas Lockwood, a member of the San Diego Port Information Technology Department. "We are using MobileCop to provide our GIS system with patrol vehicle locations, encrypt mobile communications and deliver our GIS application to vehicles out in the field."

"Using MobileCop and AVL to visually map the location of patrol vehicles in relation to a call for service or other emergency improves situational awareness across the department," explained Patrol Sergeant Eric Womack. "The enhanced safety of our officers in an emergency is the biggest value. Now everyone -- from the officer in the car to the dispatcher and commander at headquarters -- has the same information on the status and location of every unit available to respond to a call or provide backup."

MobileCop's silent, secure messaging also enables dispatchers to alert or send units to any critical activity in their sector without the risk of voice radio transmission interception. With BIO-key's MobileCop software on mobile data terminals, San Diego Harbor PD's patrol vehicle-based officers can quickly check federal and state databases for outstanding warrants on an individual involved in an incident or previously apprehended in a restricted area of the airport or other port district facilities.