Cleveland Selects Tablet Computing Systems

Wireless PCs are part of city's five-year project.

by / September 25, 2003
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland's Police Division needed to update its officers with improved technology. Officers had been requesting information from dispatch using the police radio, which required the queries to be cued in the system for processing and often consumed the duties of dispatchers.

The Cleveland PD began a five-year field automation project, and selected wireless tablet PCs. When comparing laptops to tablet PCs, the division found that laptop hinges, the risk of dropping the unit while open and design features created concerns for the city and its officers.

The initial installation of 203 systems is part of a five-year program to outfit approximately 500 additional vehicles pending the award of annual grant monies in support of this project.

Cleveland PD will install Xplore's Tablet computers and law enforcement docking system in addition to a magnetic stripe reader in approximately police cruisers. Utilizing the Cuyahoga Regional Information Systems (CRIS) mobile software with the hardware systems, officers can run license plates and ID checks, perform wants/warrants checks, obtain photo images from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, initiate car-to-car communications and access local, state and federal Web sites while in their police vehicles.

The system provides enhanced safety to police officers in the field. Prior to exiting the police vehicle, officers can run a license plate and immediately obtain vehicle and owner information along with the driving status of the operator. If the query results show a potentially dangerous situation such as a stolen vehicle or a wanted person, the computer screen changes color and provide a visual heightened status to the officer(s).

Additionally, with an increasing incidence of identity theft, it is imperative that officers validate the identity of the driver prior to completing the stop so the appropriate action can be initiated. Using Social Security numbers and/or driver's license numbers, officers can access the CRIS system and validate identities through the availability of downloaded photo images and personal information.

Other benefits noted by the city include more efficient use of radio communications for predominantly emergency situations, increased arrests and traffic citations based on an increased level of database inquiries and an overall increase in access to mission-critical information for the field officers.

Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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