Midland's front line policing just received an upgrade. Six years after installing Panasonic Toughbook laptop computers in our front line police cruisers, Midland Police has just completed the upgrade to the latest generation of ruggedized tablet computers and new GPS tracking technology for the fleet. The tablet computers offer all the same features as the old notebook PCs but in a smaller footprint in the cruisers. The police cruiser is the mobile office for patrol officers and space is at a premium when considering all the technology that has to be packed into the front driver and passenger area of the mid-sized sedans.
The tablets connect securely to the central police network and provide access to CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre), the RMS (Records Management System) and a host of other apps including the MTO (Ministry of Transportation) and the PIP (Police Information Portal) systems. Officers can run their own plates and people through the system freeing up dispatchers and call takers from many of these mundane tasks. In addition, the officers can input their own reports and work in the field instead of returning to the office to print documents and complete clerical tasks associated with their investigations.
New apps are going live in the days to come that will allow us to complete accident reports online, input the driver information by scanning the barcode on driver's licences and print the information exchange portion of the accident report from right inside the car. This technology coupled with SceneDoc, an app for evidence collection and digital notekeeping on mobile phones and the service's iPads, allows officers to leverage the latest technologies in their investigations.
The GPS tracking features in the new cellular modems allows the dispatch centre to see the location of the police cars for both officer safety reasons and to better assign calls for service to units best suited to respond.
Constable Brent Walker shows off the new tablet out of its docking station and a complete system is visible in his cruiser. The importance of keeping officers on patrol in the the community is and has always been a prime objective of community based policing and this upgrade helps us continue to meet that mandate, remain agile to evolving needs and keep response times to a minimum as a result.