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Working in the stone ages-no MDTs, cell phones, or tablets

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  • Working in the stone ages-no MDTs, cell phones, or tablets

    Anyone have experience leading the way on getting their dept on track to update their technology? currently work at an agency where we use the radio for everything from security checks and routine work, to pursuits and fatal crashes. Everyone on one channel, with 40 (ish) officers and 3-4 dispatchers. So it goes without saying that our dispatchers get pretty upset when officers initiate any proactive work. Just wondering if anyone has experience with similar issues and leads on programs out there that i could apply for to get some toughbooks in hand. TIA

  • #2
    Originally posted by reddead24 View Post
    ...currently work at an agency where we use the radio for everything from security checks and routine work, to pursuits and fatal crashes. Everyone on one channel, with 40 (ish) officers and 3-4 dispatchers. So it goes without saying that our dispatchers get pretty upset when officers initiate any proactive work.
    Wow. That's amazing. The agency I started with, had MDTs in all the patrol cars by about 1994...

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    • #3
      And thats what dispatch is for. This crutch of an MDT has created “cops” that wouldn’t know PC from A.S.S.
      Now go home and get your shine box!

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      • #4
        I assume that means that some/many/most end up using their personal cell phones. That, in and of itself, is risky and a whole different conversation.

        Anyway, what are your neighbors doing? I am not sure if you are city of county, but rather than completely re-inventing the wheel, maybe you can partner with a nearby agency that has laptops computers, etc.

        Another thought, assuming you are trying to get your foot in the door "on the cheap" is to see how other area agencies dispose of their surplus equipment. In Minnesota, there is a state surplus center. The State, and some cities/counties, sell their surplus equipment that way. Granted, it would be nice to start with new equipment, but it may be easier and cheaper to get some surplus equipment.

        Perhaps a way to "sell" the idea is that it would make officers more efficient. For example, do some end up returning to the station to prepare reports? Having the ability to do more things in the car should make some officers more efficient.

        Even having a rugged laptop computer in the car, with a wireless cellular connection, would help. Even if it didn't include the whole CAD and RMS functionality.

        https://www.t-mobile.com/business/go...necting-heroes

        https://www.dla.mil/DispositionServi...rdList.aspx#md

        https://www.dla.mil/DispositionServi...ogramFAQs.aspx

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        • #5
          Originally posted by reddead24 View Post
          Anyone have experience leading the way on getting their dept on track to update their technology? currently work at an agency where we use the radio for everything from security checks and routine work, to pursuits and fatal crashes. Everyone on one channel, with 40 (ish) officers and 3-4 dispatchers. So it goes without saying that our dispatchers get pretty upset when officers initiate any proactive work. Just wondering if anyone has experience with similar issues and leads on programs out there that i could apply for to get some toughbooks in hand. TIA
          You made me laugh. I remember when my department got its first (and only) walkie talkie in 1969. We shared a county frequency and the county would not let us use our own radios, so the walkie talkie had to be on the city's street maintenance frequency. We could only use it to talk to our dispatch but not to other police units, so information had to be relayed back and forth through dispatch.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            Has your agency explored grants from Homeland Security or FEMA?

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            • #7
              Partnership with other agencies as well as seeking grants are both great ideas. Before you make your move, however, you might research why the department is so technology-averse. Is it lack of money, a plan to adopt technology that fell apart, or command staff who are technology-averse?

              Out of curiosity, is that forty officers and 3-4 dispatchers for just one shift or spread out 24/7? Back in the day, I was very familiar with dispatchers who got upset with proactive work, usually on the county side rather than the city.
              John from Maryland

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              • reddead24
                reddead24 commented
                Editing a comment
                That's approximately 40 beat officers on a shift if no one calls out or goes on leave. I didn't even include the additional officers and command staff

            • #8
              I am fighting the same battle and getting creative for funding. I work for a Sheriff's Department and am writing a proposal for my sheriff and our county commissions which is aimed at justifying the expenditure for MDTs as a COVID related cost that can be paid for with CARES ACT funds. Lots of ways to spin it but MDTs allow officers to work in the field thus increasing social distancing. The capability to complete reports in the field and take victim statements reduces the need of victims to come in the office for statements thus further reducing the transmission risk. Our 911 center also plots all positive COVID homes on our GIS Map so it'll allow our deputies to see in real time if someone has tested positive before entering their residence. Like I said, lots of ways to spin it and more than justify using COVID monies.

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              • #9
                Wow. And here I remember back in '98 when I started I carried a roll of quarters for when dispatch gave me a TX to make. Instead of driving across town back to the station, I'd roll up to the gas station payphone and make the call. I can't imagine some of these kids having to work under godforsaken conditions.
                Why are there so many babies on O.com? Creole, you and your buddy JPSO Recruit help me out on this one....

                * "Preach always, if necessary, use words!" St Francis of Assisi

                * Luke Chapter 6, Verses 27-36

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by towncop View Post
                  Wow. And here I remember back in '98 when I started I carried a roll of quarters for when dispatch gave me a TX to make. Instead of driving across town back to the station, I'd roll up to the gas station payphone and make the call. I can't imagine some of these kids having to work under godforsaken conditions.
                  ...and back then, veterans in your department were kvetching about how rooks were so soft they needed a telephone to do the job.

                  Time marches on, as does the ingress of technology. These days, mobile technology like MDTs/MDCs are ubiquitous enough that I think it's reasonable to expect it in a modern police agency.

                  Comment

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