LONDON KY—All London Police Department cruisers are to be equipped with mobile data terminals by the end of October this year. The department has purchased 27 in-vehicle Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 laptops that are expected to bring the department up to speed in the digital age of policing. These terminals not only increase efficiency, but also officer safety within the department, according to Police Chief Derek House.
The police department is building upon a mobile data terminal program that originally began in 2004 through the assistance of a government grant. Over the years, the computers simply became outdated and online connectivity was spotty. House has made these updated terminals a priority within the department along with officer safety, Sgt. Doug Thomas said, adding, “They’ll be able to access more information and work more safely while learning about who they are about to stop on the road before they are ever pulled over.”
Currently officers are using their police radio to ask the London-Laurel County 9-1-1 Communications Center information, who may be bogged down with an influx of 911 calls or other various tasks. With support from the City of London, the new terminals will have a secure mobile hotspot online connectivity. This connectivity is vital and turns a laptop into a powerhouse of productivity for officers.
Soon officers will have the ability to relieve the communications center by answering 911 calls on the road to help handle complaints or talk to victims if needed. London Police detectives will have the capability to use the mobile data system through their mobile phones, and officers will be able to use the terminals to search a tag number to find out if the driver of a vehicle is the registered owner, if a car is stolen, and if they have ever been charged with assaulting an officer through access to the Law Information Network of Kentucky (LINK) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).