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In-vehicle mobile data software increases officer productivity

 

BIO-key® International Inc., a leader in finger-based biometric identification and wireless public safety solutions, announced a contract award from the Ulster County, NY Sheriff’s Office for additional licenses of BIO-key’s MobileCop® in-vehicle mobile data software. The Sheriff’s Office has been a MobileCop user since 2000. With this order, placed through BIO-key partner SHI, the Sheriff’s Office is extending mobile data to its entire fleet and to patrol vehicles in the New Paltz and Lloyd Police Departments.

MobileCop enables deputies and officers in the field to obtain critical information directly from federal, state and local databases from laptops in their vehicles. This lets them make more informed decisions faster, since they no longer need to call a dispatcher and wait for a response. Receiving an FBI stolen vehicle or wanted person alert electronically before approaching the driver at a traffic stop, for example, helps protect officer safety. The Sheriff’s Office has also deployed PocketCop®, BIO-key’s complementary mobile data solution on BlackBerry smartphones, to its command staff and detectives.

With the addition of the New Paltz and Lloyd departments, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office now provides a MobileCop hosting service for 15 local and county law enforcement agencies, giving even the smallest departments mobile data access without the cost of maintaining their own separate systems. MobileCop users in all of the hosted departments can also communicate silently and securely with Sheriff’s Office MobileCop and PocketCop users and with each other. The network even seamlessly links patrol units in the Kingston Police Department, which has a separate mobile data system.

“By having every law enforcement agency tied in, we’ve increased the speed of communications across the entire county,” said Deputy Thomas Lattin of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the technical officer in charge of the network. “And because messages can’t be intercepted by a scanner, those communications stay secure.”

The system enables units and users in neighboring departments to coordinate response with one another in pursuit and other mutual aid situations. As an added officer safety feature, all logged-on users are automatically notified when any officer needs assistance or in any other emergency. “With MobileCop and PocketCop, Ulster County has achieved what everyone in public safety and homeland security talks about—interoperability and real-time information sharing across agencies and jurisdictions,” said Ken Souza, senior vice president and general manager of BIO-key’s Law Enforcement Division.

Louisiana Sheriff’s Office

BIO-key International also announced a contract award from the Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana Sheriff’s Office for MobileCop. Using MobileCop, the department’s 60 patrol deputies will for the first time have on laptops in their vehicles access to federal, state and local law enforcement information on a person or vehicle of interest.

Funding for the project came from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP) and enables the department to also enhance security at oil refineries and other critical infrastructure facilities in the parish.

Published in Public Safety IT, Sep/Oct 2009

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