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Features

Mobile Computing Tools

Peripherals and software transform patrol vehicle computers into workhorses.

November 30, 2011  |  by - Also by this author

Spillman's new Mobile 4.6 software
Spillman's new Mobile 4.6 software

In the last decade, law enforcement patrol vehicles have become more like high-tech offices than the old-fashioned prowl cars of the past. Today's officer has more technology in his or her patrol unit than astronauts had in the space shuttle. And like any high-tech office, the new patrol car cabin is built around the presence of a powerful computer.

We've written numerous articles on mobile computers here in POLICE Magazine over the years. They are the rock stars of police technology. They can survive drops and spills, and I've even seen the hard disk recovered from one after some scumbag shot at a cop with a .45 caliber pistol and put a round through the computer. But the truth is that without the right software and the right peripherals the most expensive, powerful, rugged police computer system is very much like a rock star, a rock star with no musical instrument and no microphone.

It would be difficult for anyone to devise a short summation of all of the capabilities of law enforcement software. These programs run the gamut from report writing spreadsheets to multiple database compilers that can alert officers to the backgrounds of dangerous people encountered during traffic stops. As for peripherals, just about any tool that is common to a computer network can now be miniaturized for use in a patrol car. There are citation printers, and fingerprint scanners, and a wide variety of other peripherals available.

Each year at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference and trade show peripheral manufacturers and software producers show their latest wares. The following is a look at some of the law enforcement market's most popular and useful software and computer peripherals. Our upcoming coverage of this year's IACP show will include additional software and peripherals.

4N6XPRT Systems: AutoStats

4N6XPRT Systems' AutoStats
4N6XPRT Systems' AutoStats

4N6XPRT Systems' AutoStats is now available as a full Windows program compatible with both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Windows OS. The Windows interface offers the familiar layout of the previous DOS interface while making use of the easier navigation provided by a GUI interface, as well as making some of the features of the program, such as DXF output, more noticeable. The AutoStats database contains more than 41,000 model year vehicles, covering model years from the late 1940s through 2011 and selected 2012 model year vehicles. The database contains the standard dimensions such as length, width, wheelbase, height, curb weight, as well as bumper, hood, windshield heights, and acceleration and braking data.

Appriss: JusticeXchange

Appriss JusticeXchange
Appriss JusticeXchange

Operating on both mobile data systems and desktop computers, Appriss JusticeXchange offers law enforcement agencies secure access to offender data. JusticeXchange incorporates 60 million booking records and provides access to warrants, photos, probation, and parole records, including local jail and corrections information. The information can be accessed through a secure Internet connection XML interface that is NIEM and CJIS compliant. Agencies in 31 states provide information through JusticeXchange, allowing law enforcement to locate suspects, track down parents who are delinquent in child support, follow suspected drug dealers, and locate missing persons.

Tags: 4N6XPRT Systems, Appriss, Brother, LEM Solutions, New World Systems, Spillman Technologies, Thinkstream, Zebra Technologies

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