Merseyside installs APD Polaris consoles in frontline patrol units

APD has announced that Merseyside Police will be installing its Polaris mobile information consoles into 140 of the force’s frontline patrol cars.

May 5, 2006
By David Howell

APD has announced that Merseyside Police will be installing its Polaris mobile information consoles into 140 of the force’s frontline patrol cars.

The new system will enable officers to perform vehicle and person checks saving time and increasing productivity. Prior to implementing the new system, information from vehicle checks and person searches would have to be relayed to police officers from a control room over the phone or radio, which could lead to errors from misunderstood communications. In addition, being unable to pinpoint the exact location of officers meant that control centre staff would have to spend time calling around to establish the closest patrol.

The Polaris system works in conjunction with Transcomm’s Mobitex secure wireless network. Officers input requests into an in-car Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) and the data is obtained directly from national and local databases including the Police National Computer (PNC); the data is then transmitted in real-time back to the on-board computer. By being able to source relevant, up-to-the-minute information to their MDT from several applications, officers are kept better informed and are able to carry out more mission-critical checks per day

The mobile data is also integrated with APD’s Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) software so that the control room is always aware of the location of police vehicles and their proximity to an incident, which makes it easier and less time consuming to direct the appropriate unit accordingly.

David Lawford of APD said: “Unlike many mobile data initiatives in the current marketplace, this is not a pilot scheme. It is a complete end-to-end rollout. We have proven technology in this area through our work with the Metropolitan Police, and it is this technology that has been adapted and enhanced for use at Merseyside.”

Merseyside is expected to increase its number of MDT equipped vehicles from 140 to 400.

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