The Portland Connection
The Portland, Ore., Police Bureau and the Multnomah County probation/parole agency now have a more efficient way of communicating with each other. The new technology was launched when the city modified software in its existing computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system from PRC/Northrop Grumman, says Jim Churchill, CAD coordinator for the Portland 9-1-1 Bureau of Emergency Communications.
The amended system involves filling out a form on officers’ mobile data terminals (MDTs) when officers encounter a suspicious person. The form includes questions about drugs, alcohol, weapons, or other matters that could breach a person’s parole or probation terms.
Once a form is filled out, it is sent immediately to the desk of a probation officer or parole officer at the county Community Justice Department’s Division of Adult Probation/Parole/Post-Prison Supervision. A probation or parole officer reviews the information (obtained through the MDT from the state’s Law Enforcement Data System) and can instantly request the officer on duty to confine the suspect if necessary.
About 400 Portland Police Bureau vehicles feature the updated system, and approximately 250 of these vehicles are used every day.
Officers previously had to wait days before being able to access information on ex-prisoners, such as when a person was last contacted by an officer, who the officer was, and in what area the encounter took place.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) fromGovernment Technology (02/04) Vol. 17, No. 2, P. 46; McKay, Jim .