their vehicle that's operating on a Windows platform -- ideally Windows 2000 or Windows XP -- wouldn't have to purchase a whole lot, and the cost would be minimal," Liebl said.

The New Hampshire State Police uses the Motorola Astro radio system. Its computers are about the size of a brick and are embedded in the vehicle consoles.

"You could go with a ruggedized laptop in a docking station and use that PC format," Liebl said. "There are tablet PCs out there; some of them are mounted on the dash and face the officer."

The system makes things a little easier on the officer but above all, it makes things safer, Callander said, recalling an incident where an officer was traveling at 60 mph down a city street.

"He didn't have to reach down and push the button on his radio to get on LE north command. He was able to just click the button and say 'LE north command,' still keeping his eyes on the road and concentrating so as not to hit anybody."

Jim McKay, Justice and Public Safety Editor  |  Justice and Public Safety Editor