In (COP)sync with the times
Rockdale police now have a high-tech, in-the-car weapon to fight crime and it’s sure something Sgt. Joe Friday of Dragnet fame would never recognize, although he might envy it.
Rockdale now has five police patrol cars with the state-of-the-art COPsync computer system. Training starts Friday and as soon as Rockdale’s officers are up to speed they’ll be able to turn their patrol cars virtually into rolling versions of the dispatch office at the police station.
IMMEDIATE—“It lets us do a lot more from the car, without having to wait for responses from the dispatcher,” Police Chief Thomas Harris said.
“For instance, you hear on traffic stops, the officer will call back to the dispatcher and ask them to run license and vehicle registration information,” Harris said. “Then they have to wait until they get that answer.”
With COPsync, the officer can obtain that same information with a few keystrokes or screen touches. “That saves time and in some instances that time might make all the difference,” he said.
“Imagine what it will be like to almost instantly know we’re following a vehicle that’s been reported stolen,” Harris said.
While that’s certainly a factor, COPsync’s prime purpose is one that’s earned the appreciation of every member of the law enforcement community that’s “logged in” to the system.
“It will make being a police officer a lot safer,” Harris said.
‘YOUR 20?’—Anyone who has spent much time with a police scanner knows nothing starts the seeds of panic among law officers quicker than radio silence after the query “what’s your 20 (location).”
COPsync provides the answer to that question all the time. “There’s a built in GPS system and we’ll be able to look at a screen and see where all our officers are, immediately, ” Harris said.
“That’s really the main reason our city council wanted us to have the system,” Harris said. “It’s about a $50,000 system but their attitude was that nothing’s more important than keeping our officers safe and we sure appreciate their support.”
NETWORKED—COPsync will also be able to network local police with other law enforcement agencies who have the devices.
“We’ll be able to instantly share information on just who we’re dealing with and why,” Harris said. “This works the other way, too. If someone from another agency is just coming through Rockdale, they’ll be able to instantly share information with us.”
COPsync also works on the more mundane side of law enforcement.
“When we get it up and running, we’ll be able to collect unpaid county or municipal court fines with a swipe of a card,” Harris said.
“COPsync will make our officers more productive and keep them safer,” he said. “That’s hard to beat.”