ClientSoft(TM), a global provider of legacy systems solutions since 1987, was selected by IBM Global Services to provide its signature "middleware" link between the AS/400(R) and wireless communication to Bullhead City, Arizona's Police Department (BCPD). BCPD's voice-based infrastructure was then transformed into a real-time, wide-area data network, wireless dispatch environment.
Using the new wireless dispatch system, officers can now tap into the law enforcement system at headquarters using touch screens on portable computers installed in their vehicles. Immediately all information is available to them, including license tag information, outstanding warrants, and even how many times a call was made to a particular address.
BCPD's original dispatch system was run on an AS/400 system that required the officers to speak with a voice dispatcher via radio. This was time-consuming as well as insecure for the safety of the officers. Rather than replacing existing software and hardware platforms, ClientSoft used its ClientBuilder Enterprise(TM) product to design an application that leveraged the power of the existing AS/400 application, at the same time providing a simple, optimized, intuitive mobile application as a part of the IBM Global Services offering. The system they developed consolidated the complex AS/400-based dispatch process with back-end screens and processes, giving police officers a simple set of tools to use while on patrol. The Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) were converted to a simple, easy-to-use graphical touch-base application.
How It Works
Officers use MDTs in their patrol cars to access a user-friendly screen showing selected information about calls that require a police response. Dataradio modems in the trunk of each patrol car connect the MDTs to a private radio network to complete the link between officer and computer. Emergency 911 calls are shown on the MDT, along with the dispatcher's comments. The officer can accept and update the call by touching an icon on the monitor. Officers also have direct access to local, state and federal databases at their fingertips.
BCPD Captain Mark Moss said the new wireless system is helping the department operate more efficiently and provide better police protection, including:
- Faster response times on police calls through a real-time automated dispatch system.
- Improved safety on patrol because officers' activities can't be monitored through voice communications.
- A reduction in workload at the 911 center, which allows it to concentrate on higher priority calls.
- Less paperwork and faster access to all databases for the BCPD.
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