Intranet Puts Data at Officers’ Fingertips
Maine’s Portland Police Department is using a new secure intranet that immediately provides a broad range of data to patrol officers.
The system employs wireless signals to connect laptop computers in every police car to searchable computer databases monitored at the station, which makes large amounts of data available to officers with a handful of keystrokes and allows in-depth bulletins to be easily accessible on the officer’s laptop.
The implementation of Web-based technology is beginning to catch on at police departments throughout the nation. Other police departments in Maine that employ wireless technology include the Lewiston Police Department, which transmits electronic bulletins to its officers at the start of every shift with the most recent information on wanted individuals and recent crimes.
Providing officers with more detailed recent information means they can perform better by taking measures to stop problems, instead of reacting to them, notes Portland patrol services head Capt. Vern Malloch.
The system permits police to study logs from the various beats; briefings from the intelligence division; safety bulletins and special alerts; registered sex offenders; individuals who are on probation and on bail; and probation officers’ names and numbers. Data about people usually includes pictures and recent contacts with the department.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Portland Press Herald (Maine); 01/30/07; P. A1; Hench, David.