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Rincon Police get keyed up for in-car computers

POSTED: May 31, 2010 10:09 p.m.
Photo by Pat Donahue/

Sgt. Philip Scholl keys in information on an in-car computer.

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A new tool in their hands will allow Rincon Police Department officers to stay out on the roads longer.

The department is installing in-car computers to its vehicles, allowing the officers to conduct business behind the wheel that normally is done behind a desk.

“It’s going to be a win-win for everybody,” said Chief Mike Bohannon.

With the Dell Latitude computers, similar to the Motorola Toughbooks, officers will be able to enter reports and access Georgia Crime Information Center information from their cars. Currently, the sheriff’s office dispatches Rincon officers and assists with GCIC requests.

“That will free up sheriff’s assets and our assets,” Bohannon said.

The computers also come up with a GPS system that allows officers to know where each other is. They’ll also be able to input citation information into the city court’s database. That will allow those who receive traffic tickets and other fines to pay them much more quickly.

“Before, it would take a day or two to find out about the costs,” said Rincon Police Sgt. Phillip Scholl. “The clerk of court can tell them right there — they can go right to city hall and pay the fine. On calls, they can enter a subpoena right there. It’s time saved all around.”

Crime scene units and investigators also can enter information right on scene into the police department’s database. The computers also have a touch-screen capability.

“You don’t have the delay you used to have,” Scholl said. “You can enter the data right there. Everything is real time.”

Bohannon also pointed out that being able to enter and access information from the patrol car will cut down on radio traffic.

The computers will be installed on all 15 vehicles belonging to the department. Even though the department is transitioning from Ford Crown Victorias to Dodge Chargers, the platforms for the computers are compatible with both cars. The department currently has five Chargers, and the process to an all-Charger fleet 0will be slow.

“When we started doing research, we made sure everything was compatible,” Bohannon said.

The chief also is looking into getting different tinting for the patrol cars to keep the computers as cool as possible.

The computers are being paid for out of special purpose local option sales tax proceeds, and Bohannon said they’re a hit with his officers.

“They like it,” he said. “It keeps them on the street.”

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