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  • Laptops (MDTs)

    So, I suddenly find myself riding a desk instead of a patrol car because one of the department's essential personnel left for a job in the private sector and they needed someone to fill in immediately while they hire a full time replacement. Since the job requires some technical know how, and I'm known to be somewhat tech savy, they picked me.

    That being said, one of the responsibilities I've temporarily inherited is trying to replace the laptops officers use in their units. The model we were using, HP Pavilion DM1-3010NR, was apparently discontinued. We were receiving these laptops as part of a contract with Verizon, but they've since went to tablets. We'd just use the tablets, but case management and CAD software we use requires a separate license for tablets, one which the department isn't going to pay for.

    My biggest problem is that I've got exactly zero experience with administrative stuff like purchasing equipment. So, if anyone has experience sourcing laptops for patrol cars, any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, anyone who can tell me what type of laptops or MDTs your department is currently using would also be appreciated.

  • #2
    We use Toughbook CF-31 which we acquire through a company with the "state contract price" aka lowest bidder. The Toughbooks are pretty much the gold standard in MDTs. They will cost a little more, but are well worth it in my opinion.

    The other thing to consider is most docking stations will only fit one kind of computer. Gamber Johnson and Havis both make some good solid docking stations, but again they will be more spendy. If cost is an issue, you could simply go with a universal dock that simply straps or clamps the computer down and just use a power wire. I have found these do not really hold up well after awhile though

    Another option is to see what kind of state surplus is out there. I know a lot of departments in my state but used highway patrol computers, sirens, radars, lightbars, etc... from the state surplus department.

    Check out this link for Toughbook pricing info for your state
    Last edited by cjs-luke; 08-06-2014, 01:52 PM.
    Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

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    • #3
      http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/la...s&isredir=true
      These are what we are currently using. They seem to work well. We are buying Havis mounts for them.
      Anything worth shooting is worth shooting 3 or 4 times.

      M-11

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      • #4
        We're using the Toughbook CF-31s as well. I've been very pleased with them.

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        • #5
          Tough book. We use the CF-53. Pricing dependent on the upgrades. Best out there for police work. IMO.
          Last edited by stormz5192; 08-07-2014, 06:31 AM.
          Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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          • #6
            Etch a sketch.......just kidding, Coban VMDT. Camera system and mdt all in one.

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            • #7
              We use the CF-31s and have not had many issues with them.
              In God We Trust
              Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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              • #8
                Originally posted by iamacop View Post
                Etch a sketch.......just kidding, Coban VMDT. Camera system and mdt all in one.
                we had them. Worst ever. Wasted a ton of money on those toasters.
                Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by stormz5192 View Post
                  we had them. Worst ever. Wasted a ton of money on those toasters.
                  Now we're switching to the L-3 mdt-camera system in one dealio. Is that a decent system?

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                  • #10
                    L3 is top notch in my opinion. We used L3 (not built into mdt) at my first agency, loved it. We used digital ally at my other, no bueno. We also used data911 MDTs, I wasn't impressed.
                    "To hell with a supervisor, men follow a leader" -Texas Ranger Captain Allee

                    "Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death."
                    -Sun Tzu

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                    • #11
                      We use the Dell ATGs. No complaints about the computer itself, though our CAD software is a bit wonky, I don't think it's the computer's fault.

                      The batteries burn out relatively quickly, but I imagine that's simply a byproduct for any lithium-ion system that is constantly getting overcharged.

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                      • #12
                        Do not make the mistake of purchasing retail computers. Purchase only rugged laptops tested to a MIL-STD.

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                        • #13
                          We also use the Toughbooks CF-31 and they work like a charm. Now our Verizon Card is another Oprah Winfrey Show! hahaha
                          Strong Body, Sharp Mind And Good Tactics!

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                          • #14
                            For the MDT function, report writing, and video system we use the Dell laptops also. The encrypted wireless connection is via the department issued smartphone so you can take your laptop with you, and still use your phone. We use the Apollo in car camera solution. Both are working well. Your car is simply the mode of transportation, all your resources can go with you when you get out.
                            September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 5031OKC View Post
                              http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/la...s&isredir=true
                              These are what we are currently using. They seem to work well. We are buying Havis mounts for them.
                              We just switched over to these from our toughbooks. Both are crap. but this does the job. many ppl had issues with the touch screen and track pads. I had my speaker blow out and I never use the damn thing (my car has a built in computer) luckily, they are still under warranty and dell came and fixed anything hardware related.

                              we used something from the county to get the laptops. I believe they technically "own" the laptops on paper, but we use them at our will.

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