Albany ponders GPS system for vehicles - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany ponders GPS system for vehicles

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany City Commission is planning to purchase an automated vehicle location system that will run over half a million dollars.

The units will be installed on all public safety vehicles, like police cars and fire trucks.

It will let department heads know exactly where their employees are at all times, and will hopefully improve response time.

The goal of Albany firefighters and police officers is to respond to calls as fast as they possibly can.

Dispatchers typically have a general idea of the location of each officer, but it's not easy to know where everyone is at all times.

"Not too long ago, one of our officers was shot.  Now we can know exactly where their location is and our response time can be quicker," said Albany Mayor Dr. Willie Adams.

That can be done with an Automated vehicle location system the city is buying. It will put tracking devices on more than 200 public safety vehicles, letting their supervisors, and 911 operators, know their exact locations.

"The ability to know where that unit is whether it's police or fire, puts tremendous tools in the hands of management to be able to manage our resources," said Albany Fire Chief Chief James Carswell.

Plus, it will allow the closest available unit to be dispatched to a scene, even off-duty officers who are in their patrol cars.

"I think we'll see overall, more efficiency in the utilization of our vehicles," said Carswell.

But is it worth the nearly $600,000 price tag to the citizens of Albany? "I certainly think so, and I think over a period of time, it will save a lot of money," said Carswell.

"In times when we're in economic strife, it gives us another tool to manage those resources more efficiently and I think it will more than pay for itself overtime."

The city commission will vote on final approval of the Automated vehicle location system later this month.

Click HERE to download a document on the system

Click HERE to learn more about the repeater that communicates with headquarters

Click HERE to learn more about the wireless GPS modem system

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