Technology lets troopers stay on the highway - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Technology lets troopers stay on the highway

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

Tifton, GA (WALB) - The Georgia State Patrol is about to start using new technology that will save time and money and keep troopers safer.

By this summer, most Troopers will have computer systems in their cars that will allow them to do most of their reports and work from the road.

The Georgia State Patrol wants their troopers to spend most of their time on the road not back at their headquarters filling out reports. So the state is installing Computer Aided Dispatch systems in their offices, and Mobile Computer Terminals in their cars to help Troopers be more efficient.

Trooper First Class Melvin Simmons has the mounting equipment ready in his car when the Georgia State Patrol's Mobile Computer terminals are installed in July. The computers will make traffic stops safer, because he will be able to check tag information himself, rather than radioing for it.

"Right now we're actually calling it in on the radio, at that time we are getting out. And we don't know what we're dealing with until they run the tag and call us and let us know. So it's going to help out," Simmons said.

The Computer Aided Dispatch to run this new communication service has been installed and is running in the Tifton Post. When the mobile computers are added to the Troopers cars this summer, they will be able to do their reports from the car, so they will spend more time on the road than at the Post. The computers will have GPS so they will know where every trooper is at all times, and provide instant maps.

"If he gets a wreck, the mapping system will plot a route for him to that wreck so he doesn't have to figure out where is trying to get to. Same thing if we have a Trooper who needs assistance," said Tifton Post Commander SFC Scott Woodell.

State officials think the computers will improve response time, and efficiency, estimating it will save 40,000 man hours each year. Troopers say they are excited that these new Georgia State Patrol computers will usher in a new age for their service.

"We're moving away from some of those traditional ideas into the mainstream of the information age,"  Woodell said.

"It's just an all around good idea,"  Simmons said.

Supervisors say the Troopers may also help cut down on speeding as they fill out reports. They'll be parked in visible spots along highways, and we all know drivers usually hit the brakes when they see a trooper's car.

The system will make the state patrol greener by cutting down on the amount of paper they use.

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