The Tifton Police Department is going high-tech. Chief Jim Smith spoke to the members of the Tifton City Council on Monday night about acquiring a wireless in-car computer system for the TPD.

Smith said the in-car wireless computer capability will give the officer on the street “more efficient and enhanced capability to complete reports and submit reports and perform many functions currently performed by 911 dispatchers.”

He said, “Citations issued on the street will be directly fed into the court software, while reports written in the field can be uploaded directly to the report database, eliminating the need for repetitive entries of the same data.”

Smith told the city council members that seven vendors had responded. “We want to go with the Panasonic ‘Toughbook,’” Smith said.

The cost for the laptops and ancillary equipment will be $147,213.53. They will cost $2,865.36 for each unit.

Councilwoman Marianna Keesee asked Smith if a laptop would be put in each car. “They will not have a permanent mount but will be assigned to an officer,” Smith answered.

Smith indicated that other police departments are already equipped with a wireless computer system.

Additionally, Smith spoke to the council members about “replacing the antiquated system we are using for record management.” Smith said the current AS400 system is “outdated and inefficient, with only the Incident Report module functional.” He said the current system was created and is maintained by the RDC from Valdosta. “The system has been in use since January 2004,” he said. “The evidence tracking, pawn reporting, warrant and UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) modules of the system have never worked properly and despite countless calls to the RDC still do not work.

“These tasks are done either by hand or by using individual programs created in Microsoft Access by detective secretary Teia Trepanier.”

Smith said an up-to-date and functional system would greatly enhance the operation of the entire department.

Smith said he wished to purchase the equipment from Management Data Systems, Inc. for $33,000.

“Over 100 Georgia cities are using this,” Smith said.

To contact reporter Jana Cone, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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