Technology Puts Officers In Command
The Carlsbad, Calif., Police Department is among just a few agencies not in New Hampshire that have implemented “Project 54,” a initiative in which patrol cars are outfitted with voice-activated computer systems that can operate overhead lights, switch radio frequencies, run checks on license plates and warrants, receive directions to emergency calls, and perhaps turn on video cameras.
The police department plans to equip all of its 48 squad cars with the voice-activation system by spring, according to Capt. Dale Stockton. Stockton says the technology will improve officers’ efficiency, thus improving rates of arrests.
Project 54 was launched by the University of New Hampshire’s Consolidated Advanced Technologies Laboratory. Five Carlsbad squad cars have thus far been equipped with the technology, which requires officers to hit a button to turn on microphones that filter out background noise.
Stockton estimates that it will cost about $60,000 to deploy Project 54 as part of a larger police department initiative valued at $3.8 million.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the San Diego Union-Tribune (11/17/04) P. B1; Tangonan, Shannon.