Boone County police cars to get laptops

(BURLINGTON, Ky.) -- The Boone Fiscal Court on Tuesday voted to borrow more than $ 2.7 million to pay for special laptop computers for every police vehicle in the Boone County Police, Boone County Sheriff's, Walton Police and Florence Police departments.

The acquisitions will put Boone County forces on the same technological level as police in Southwest Ohio and at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

The laptops and modems, which will be installed in vehicles, will enable officers to run a driver's registration, for example, as well as to write arrest or incident reports and electronically transmit them to a central location, where they can be printed later.

The patrol cars will also have a radio system on each of the communication towers, uniting the computers with the county communications system, said Jack Prindle, interim director of Boone County's Public Safety Communications Center in Florence.

Also, 10 computers will go to selected Emergency Medical Services units and fire departments on a trial basis.

Judge-executive Gary Moore said monthly 911 charges on telephone bills will pay for the computers and other equipment over the next seven years.

An earlier version of the computers, called mobile data terminals, have been in use for years in Southwest Ohio police departments. But in Northern Kentucky, only the Crescent Springs and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport departments have the earlier models.

Airport Police Chief Chuck Melville said his department plans to upgrade its system.

"We are so far behind in law enforcement technology," Crescent Springs Police Chief Mike Ward said. "Hamilton County has been using them for the last 10 years at least."

The main difference between mobile data terminals and the newer laptops is that the older versions are bolted into the vehicles, while the newer ones may be removed from the vehicles.

Boone County Police Capt. Michael Hall said Northern Kentucky law enforcement is not so much behind the times, but slower to cooperate with each other.

(iSyndicate; The Cincinnati Enquirer; Nov. 8, 2000). Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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