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Mobile Computing "Lessons Learned"

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 55 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2007 Pages: 64-66,68,70,71
Brad Brewer
Date Published
April 2007
6 pages
This article discusses the lessons learned from the widespread implementation of mobile computing centers in police vehicles.
Through the years, the police vehicle has been transformed from a form of transportation into a mobile computer unit that generally includes, at minimum, a computer-aided dispatch system, a records management system, and a mobile reporting system. With such police vehicle technology only threatening to grow in use, the author suggests smart ways to go about handling the growth of the technologically-packed police vehicle. Throughout the article, the author argues that field-testing the technology in the environment it is meant to operate within is the only way to make technology feasible and useful. Any evaluation where hardware and software solutions are being considered should include site visits and ride-alongs with front officers who can offer informed feedback. The author recounts the problems encountered by the Vancouver Police Department K9 section when technological advancements in their vehicles caused major problems in providing a safe environment for the dogs and their handlers. Another major issue to consider when adding technology to police vehicles is the type of wireless hardware and network that will provide the agency with seamless connectivity with no user intervention. Geographical availability will generally dictate which wireless technology to implement. Exhibits