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Sept. 1, 2009
A $148,000 federal grant will allow Northwest's Department of Campus Safety to equip its patrol cars this fall with laptop computers programmed with the latest wireless Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) technology.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant administered through the U.S. Department of Justice and the Missouri Department of Public Safety will provide also identical equipment for cars used by the Maryville Department of Public Safety and the Nodaway County Sheriff's Department.
MDT laptops and software will give campus and local law enforcement personnel access to the same kinds of rapid communication, information sharing and database access usually associated with state police organizations and large metropolitan police departments.
Northwest Campus Safety Director Clarence Green said the terminals will be especially efficient because all three local departments already use the same electronic report writing system.
"We all have the same reporting system now, so this technology will allow us to share data efficiently and expedite our dispatching capabilities," Green said. Providing officers with MDTs, he added, will also simplify access to a number of databases that contain a wide range of law enforcement-related intelligence.
"This significantly advances the technology that's available to us and enhances the level of service and protection we can offer to the community," Green said.
Data available to officers in the field via MDTs includes information about stolen vehicles and wanted or missing persons in addition to case numbers and other information that allow officers to complete accident reports and stolen property reports without having to return to the station.
In the past, requests for information regarding individuals, vehicles, license plates, or property had to be requested through a dispatch center, which required a desk officer to look up the information manually, search from a hardwired computer terminal or make telephone calls to other agencies.
Now, in most cases, Campus Safety personnel and other local officers will rapidly and remotely access information that allows them to call for proper back up, find out if a vehicle is stolen, learn if the driver has a valid operator's license or determine if the vehicle's owner is wanted in connection with a criminal offence.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468