Sunbury, Pa., PD Upgrades In-Car Tech to Keep Cops on Street

The city's cruisers are now equipped with the MACH system, which stands for Mobile Architecture for Communications Handling. The software lets police departments cooperate with each other during emergency situations.

by Frncis Scarcella, The Daily Item / September 18, 2019

(TNS) — The Sunbury Police Department's most recent upgrades will be both noticeable and behind-the scenes.

On Monday, Officer in Charge Brad Hare revealed an interior and exterior makeover for the department's police cruisers.

"It's a mobile office for our police," Hare said.

Hare took over last year as the officer in charge after former Chief Tim Miller left the department and has continued to move the department forward and has done an excellent job with upgrading technology and running the day-to-day operations, Councilwoman Beth Kremer said.

The city's cruisers are now equipped with the MACH system, which stands for Mobile Architecture for Communications Handling. The software lets police departments cooperate with each other during emergency situations, according to Hare.

"If there was a problem with the 911 communications we are still in contact with other officers with this system," Hare said. "This shows where all our officers are at and where other departments' officers in the area are at at all times."

Hare said the cruisers are also now equipped with a printer so an officer making an arrest can type the information directly into the computer and print out a citation on an E-Ticket machine. That also saves the time of handwriting the ticket and then having to re-enter it in the computer back at the station, Hare said.

The total cost of the project was spread out over the past three years at around $40,000 in grants. The city paid $16,000 for the E-ticket machine, according to city officials.

"This keeps our officers on the street," Hare said. The upgrades began two years ago under Miller and former Capt. Steve Bennick, Hare said.

"Thanks to City Council for continuing to push for grants and working with the department we were able to get this equipment and now we are able to get it all up and running," Hare said. "For our officers, this is like buying them a nice piece of jewelery. They want to show it off and keep it looking good. We here at the Sunbury Police Department have a new image and we are a whole new department now."

Hare said the police vehicles also have upgraded dashboard cameras that have been installed.

"We are continuing to move forward and not look back," Sunbury Mayor Kurt Karlovich said. "Next will be a new police station."

The cruisers also received an exterior makeover as the old Sunbury Police lettering was stripped down and new logos and designs will be seen on all the vehicles.

The department uses Ford Police SUV Explorers, ranging from 2016 to a new cruiser ordered for 2020, according to Officer Brad Slack, along with two Ford sedans. The department has four cruisers that are fully equipped and two special detail vehicles, Slack said.

The upgrades are the latest in a string of improvements to the department under Karlovich. The department has added four police officers this year and a fifth is expected to be approved on Sept. 23.

©2019 The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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