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Brian Cain

Brian Cain

Brian Cain is a sergeant with the Holly Springs (Ga.) Police Department, and is known as the "Millennial cop" on Twitter. He has been in law enforcement since 2000. He hosts and produces a podcast for Millennials in law enforcement.

Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Michael Bostic

Michael Bostic

Mike Bostic, of Raytheon Corp.'s Civil Communication Solutions group, specializes in open architecture, systems integration of communications and data programs. Mike spent 34 years with the LAPD. He managed IT and facility development, as well as the SWAT Board of Inquiry, which developed new command-and-control systems.

High-Tech Upgrades for Two Calif. Agencies

New technology improves efficiency for officers with the California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

December 20, 2011  |  by Michael Bostic - Also by this author

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies have been issued wireless fingerprint readers to quickly access records. Photo: Paul Clinton
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies have been issued wireless fingerprint readers to quickly access records. Photo: Paul Clinton

In law enforcement, new technology for police forces often arrives slowly and sporadically. This glaring reality can be especially true in the post-recession years as department budgets tighten.

In California, we're seeing a critical shift to high-tech gadgetry that could be a bellwether for forces across the country.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in November, began replacing 1980s-era technology in its patrol cars with a Raytheon mobile data computer system that's been battle-tested by soldiers in Iraq. The new laptop computer systems will be added to more than 2,400 patrol cars, motorcycles, prisoner transport vehicles, and SUVs.

By taking the sheriff's station into the streets, deputies can use their Panasonic Toughbook laptop to access the Sheriff's Data Network and criminal databases, including FBI records; California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) photos; GPS routing to emergency calls; and biometric data, such as fingerprints. With this on-the-spot delivery of information, deputies will no longer have to go to the station to pull up a mug shot or pull over to thumb through a paper road map.

Then there's the California Highway Patrol, which is responsible for 15,181 miles of highway in the state.

Recognizing the need for effective interoperable communications during an emergency, CHP has taken nine Chevy Tahoes and transformed them into incident command vehicles. These state-of-the-art SUVs will operate as public safety command centers on wheels. These vehicles are outfitted with the latest communications equipment, including satellite, cellular, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and Internet access. At the center of this mobile command and control unit is the ACU-1000 Gateway system, a Raytheon technology that can cross-connect different radio networks, connect those networks to phone or satellite systems, and function as its own network connection.

As the largest sheriff's department and largest state police agency in the nation, the LASD and CHP are showing that it's possible to implement cost-effective technology upgrades that give road officers the information they need within seconds when it matters most. As a former LAPD officer, I can only imagine how much this would have helped me when I was in the field.

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