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  • mobile data terminals in patrol cars

    Does anybody have any experience or ideas on bringing mobile data terminals into the patrol cars for a 75 officer department with a tight budget. I know the obvious answer is grants but there is no assigned grant writer looking into this stuff so baby step me here.

  • #2
    In our County, the Sheriff's office owns all of the MDT's which I believe were acquired through grants. All the PD's have them as well, distributed by the sheriff's office and repaired through the county 911. It would be very pricey otherwise.

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    • #3
      Mobile Data Terminals

      Originally posted by DesertRat View Post
      Does anybody have any experience or ideas on bringing mobile data terminals into the patrol cars for a 75 officer department with a tight budget. I know the obvious answer is grants but there is no assigned grant writer looking into this stuff so baby step me here.
      Post #2 sounds like a great idea. Suggest that your Department Chief contact your state Law Enforcement Planning Agency, or similiar entity. They can often be very helpful in getting equipment to agencies on limited budgets. A "grant writer" is not always needed to process these requests.

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      • #4
        Buy Dell ATG's for $2100 bucks with a universal mount then replace them every time the car gets replaced. Upgrade the standard three year warranty to include accidental damage. There's not many dept's now that can afford to buy $4000+ computers and terminals can only be used in a car and removing them for maintenance is a PIA.

        I have a few Toughbooks left, some HP business notebooks and a couple Dell All Terrain Grades (ATG). The HP's gave me a solid year and a half so far with a few warranty issues. We have 12 cars with mobiles.

        I haven't seen many grants around for computers. If you go with a $2000 computer you can most likely price it into the cruiser.

        If you're worrying about breakage, give them internet access and you'll see that they will break a lot less.
        Last edited by Catman; 06-17-2007, 06:21 PM.
        The People's Republic of Massachusetts

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        • #5
          Has your Agency looked into sharing a records management system and/or radio/dispatch system with other surrounding Municipal PS or your State Police? If so, and if they already have MDT/MWS, maybe your Agency can not only share use of their RMS &/or radio/dispatch, but also be able to buy MWS at a discount through whatever purchasing program the other Agency(ies) already have in place.

          Over the years, Catman seems to have had a good handle on this kind of program, whereas I work for a Force where I just use the equipment and have no input on the type of hardware OR software we use. Currently, my Force is using Panasonic Toughbook CF-29, although we still have some CF-27 & CF-28 models around; I assume that we will transition to the CF-30 model soon.
          #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
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          • #6
            Hadware is going to depend on budget but there's no reason you can't use a regualr laptop if you need to, especially with the warranties available.
            The People's Republic of Massachusetts

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            • #7
              It's not a cheap proposal, so a "tight budget" won't cut it.
              See if you can get an Homeland Security grant.
              Don't forget the infrastructure, like a bullet-proof communications
              system with total area coverage. You don't connect a MDT modem
              to a low end radio system and expect them to work.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SpectraTAC View Post
                It's not a cheap proposal, so a "tight budget" won't cut it.
                See if you can get an Homeland Security grant.
                Don't forget the infrastructure, like a bullet-proof communications
                system with total area coverage. You don't connect a MDT modem
                to a low end radio system and expect them to work.
                Obviously, cell coverage depends on geographical area but we found that a Sierra Wireless 595 card running through Verizon and an external antenna from Antenna Plus is rock solid and blazing fast with EVDO Rev.A. Internet speeds are equivalent to a wired desktop on broadband.
                The People's Republic of Massachusetts

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                • #9
                  I have no knowlege of the money end of it. But-make sure they buy good software. The county that I work is going to MDT's and bought software called Z-client. You want to talk about some worthless crap. Look into Packetcluster 4.3 for a good software program, I would steer far far away from Z-client.
                  "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SpectraTAC View Post
                    It's not a cheap proposal, so a "tight budget" won't cut it.
                    See if you can get an Homeland Security grant.
                    Don't forget the infrastructure, like a bullet-proof communications
                    system with total area coverage. You don't connect a MDT modem
                    to a low end radio system and expect them to work.
                    We havea brnad new state of the art communications center that was paid for through apublic safety grant that seems to have primarily filtered over to the fire department which is where the comm center went. Not that they didn't need it too but they got a hgure new building, new trucks, new...., we got 7 cars. Oh well.

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                    • #11
                      Before you commit to buying laptops of any description for patrol car use, I suggest you read this article: Is Your Patrol Car Computer Going to Kill You?
                      Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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                      • #12
                        I know that our department Toughbooks cost about $4200 each. I believe we got them with a fed. grant.

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                        • #13
                          The county I work in just bought Motorola M-900's (believe thats the model) at $7500.00 a piece plus $1500.00 docking stations. They are nice. They have touch screens and backlite keys-BUT $7500.00 for a computer!! I think its absurd. I don't know the total number but would estimate about 150 of them. And now they say we won't have in car radios due to cost.
                          "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by j706 View Post
                            The county I work in just bought Motorola M-900's (believe thats the model) at $7500.00 a piece plus $1500.00 docking stations. They are nice. They have touch screens and backlite keys-BUT $7500.00 for a computer!! I think its absurd. I don't know the total number but would estimate about 150 of them. And now they say we won't have in car radios due to cost.
                            Whoever was in charge of that purchase should be reassigned, ridiculous. Total waste of money. Chances are you'll using those for ten years when they're outdated and useless. I'd rather have a brand new $2000 laptop every two years.
                            The People's Republic of Massachusetts

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Catman View Post
                              Whoever was in charge of that purchase should be reassigned, ridiculous. Total waste of money. Chances are you'll using those for ten years when they're outdated and useless. I'd rather have a brand new $2000 laptop every two years.
                              Yea or taken out back and shoot-twice!! My part time job we purchased Toshibas (Spelling?) for 1200.00 and have had zero problems with them. Touch screen and lighted keys are nice -but $7500.00!!! My main concern is not having mobile radios-due to cost!! Ours is a fire dept. ran merger to central dispatch. Located I might add at the very southern tip of our county. I am really getting my fill with these ff types, water walkers.
                              "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson

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