As an alternative to standard personal notebooks, the Village of Oakwood Hills, Ill., chose Rugged Notebooks' Eagle rugged laptop that wasn't as costly as other fully ruggedized laptops for law enforcement or military use.
"In law enforcement, ruggedized laptops need to be the perfect blend of durability and meeting the budgetary constraints that this economy has put every village under," according to Commander Peter Goldman for the Village of Oakwood Hills police department.
Rugged Notebooks' Eagle provides ease-of-use and ruggedness, according to the company. And because of the cost efficiency of this laptop, Oakwood Hills PD was able to outfit four vehicles instead of two.
"Essentially it was a two-for-one bang for the buck," according to Commander Goldman. "It was about half of the cost of our intended expenditure, so we were able to double our purchase."
On a daily basis these in-car laptops must endure many hazards, from multiple officers using a police vehicle over 24 hours, to rough off-road driving.
"We've seen zero problems or any concerns with having these permanently mounted in the vehicle," according to Commander Goldman. "The fact that the monitor door is opened and closed on a regular basis-we've seen no wear in that aspect either. And if occasionally someone drops something on the lid by accident when it is shut, we haven't seen any damage, scuffing, or concerns in that manner. In the past, it had been a problem."
One of the weak points in any laptop is the hinge from the base of the computer to the monitor. Commander Goldman pointed out, "The Rugged Notebook Eagles have stood up and sustained that strength, which is not common in long-term vehicle use."
According to Commander Goldman, the RNB Eagle touch screen was an unexpected benefit.
"The biggest, number one feature that we have found across the board, whether it be an administrative feature or an officers in-the-line-of-duty feature, is the touch screen capability. We haven't had that in the past and, with all the new software and CAD dispatching programming, that has increased the officer's productivity."
The transition and learning curve from personal notebook to rugged laptop has been smooth. There was no real training differential other than the new touch screen feature.
The Village of Oakwood Hills Police Department has had the Rugged Notebook Eagles in service for approximately a year. In that time, they've had no issues whatsoever. When the need arises, Commander Goldman plans to purchase more of them for the rest of their fleet.