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San Diego Police Foundation Receives $1 Million Donation

Contribution will enhance police patrol communications, provide equipment

A $1 million gift, presented today by QUALCOMM to the San Diego Police Foundation (SDPF), will put state-of-the-art handheld communication devices and geographic-based location capabilities to work for the San Diego Police Department.

The donation is the largest single gift ever received by the police foundation. It will help the police department implement advanced global tracking applications and position the department as an industry leader in patrol communications and broadband applications.

"Our police officers are dedicated and intelligent, but they don't have all the tools they need to maximize efficient service," said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, who joined Police Chief William Lansdowne and SDPF President & CEO Wenda Alvarez in accepting the donation.

"One of the greatest challenges faced by police officers in the field is that of convenient communications capabilities and the department has substantial technology needs that total more than $5 million," Alvarez said.

Approximately 60 percent of the $1 million will be invested in CDMA2000 wireless technologies to improve service response time by increasing police dispatch options including GPS position location and broadband data. The remaining funds will be invested in handheld broadband wireless communications devices, giving police officers secure, on-the-street access to information and applications that are now available only through laptops or on desktop systems at police facilities. Additionally, global positioning equipment will provide dispatchers the ability to identify the police unit closest to an incident and, if necessary, call an officer off lower priority calls to respond to high-priority incidents.

Handheld cellular devices, including personal data assistants and smartphones, will accelerate two-way transmission of information such as reports, drivers' license information, fingerprints, and legal information, as well as provide direct access to federal, state, regional and local law enforcement data systems.

"At a time when patrol cars and protective vests are long past their industry-accepted lives, these necessary technology advances are out of the police department's budget range. With this donation we now have the ability to put the right communications tools within officers reach and make a significant difference," said Police Chief William Lansdowne.

Lansdowne added that putting police on the streets remains the San Diego Police Department's number one priority. Meanwhile, current attrition depletes the ranks of sworn officers by approximately 15 each month, creating a work environment where communication capabilities and other technology advancements become even more important.