New Gear Keeps Cops’ Eyes On The Road
Law enforcement agencies are equipping their patrol cars with more technology these days, which has prompted concerns that laptop computers are competing with roadways for the attention of police officers.
The Central Florida police departments of Winter Springs and Winter Garden have responded by creating policies that discourage officers from using computers while they are driving. Nonetheless, the police departments are big believers in computer use in squad cars, and have installed voice-activated technology in them. Using $23,680 in forfeiture funds from drug convictions, Winter Springs licenses QuickVoice from Advanced Public Safety in Deerfield Beach, Fla., and installed the software on 67 mobile computers.
QuickVoice is designed to respond to a tag number or a name that an officer types into a criminal database by pulling out the desired data and reading it aloud. The software will say whether a car is stolen or the person is wanted, provide other information, such as the type and color of the vehicle, and alert officers if there is a terrorist connection.
In Winter Springs, officers can only use computers when their car is parked, and Capt. Kevin Brunelle says the technology helps improve safety while boosting productivity.
Advanced Public Safety is working on a new product, QuickCommand, voice-recognition software that will allow officers to speak a tag number while driving and receive a verbal response without touching the keyboard.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Orlando Sentinel (11/28/04) P. B3; Taylor, Gary .