New technology helps VPD respond to calls quicker - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New technology helps VPD respond to calls quicker

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The screen on a dispatcher's computer at the Lowndes County 911 Center, showing the location of patrol cars The screen on a dispatcher's computer at the Lowndes County 911 Center, showing the location of patrol cars
The in-car computer in a Valdosta police car The in-car computer in a Valdosta police car
Brian Childress Brian Childress
Howard Kirkland Howard Kirkland
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

At the Lowndes County 911 dispatch center Friday afternoon, Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress explained how new GPS technology in the city's police cars is helping officers respond to calls quicker.

"On those high priority calls, like burglaries in progress or robbery, the intent of this system is to get officers at that scene faster," Childress explained. "We've already proven, through testing with the 911 center, that that system will work."

Closest car dispatch is an upgrade to the department's Automatic Vehicle Locator system.
Patrol cars now send a GPS signal to the dispatch center, allowing dispatchers to send the closest officers to any emergency call.

Patrolman Howard Kirkland is pleased with the new system.

"I think it's a great system. It definitely makes sense. Being on Patrol for the last eight years, I can see where it makes a difference," Kirkland said.

The new system also provides officers with air cards for their in-car computers, giving them the capability to do more from the computer while on patrol.

"When you're doing diagrams, and you want them to be wireless and sent to supervisors, you need bandwidth," Police Chief Brian Childress stressed. "So, we talked to the city manager, mayor and council, and explained that we needed to go to this air card system."

The upgrades cost around 700 thousand dollars.

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