- Published on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 18:42
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Westmoreland County Sheriff C.O. Balderson announced that Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) have been installed and have been “up and running” in deputy patrol vehicles since mid-November.
The MDT is one of the most valuable and important tools available to law enforcement. It has increased effectiveness by providing easier access to database files, resulting in improved officer safety and enhanced communications capabilities.
Information regarding wanted or missing persons, stolen vehicles, and as other important information is readily available to deputies in a very short period of time. “Obtaining and installing the MDTs for our deputies was a project I had hoped would have occurred before now”, Balderson said. “Without the assistance of Lieutenant England and Mr. Larry Wheaton in researching the project, and their persistence in obtaining the grant through the Edward Byrne/Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, the MDTs would not have been made possible”.
MDTs significantly reduce radio traffic, eliminating unnecessary use and congestion. The deputies, themselves, can now obtain the information they need regarding vehicles or suspects during the initial traffic stop or field investigation.
Previously, all information regarding individuals, vehicles, license plates, etc. had to be requested through the dispatch center. This required the dispatcher to look up information by computer inquiry, a manual records search, and/or making telephone calls.
This time-consuming process resulted in the deputy losing valuable time in obtaining necessary information. Additionally, deputies can complete required paperwork/reports in the field using the MDTs, which will reduce time previously spent in the office, allowing for more visibility of the deputies in the public eye.
“The acquisition of this tool will enhance the sheriff’s office’s operational effectiveness and efficiency to include first, and foremost, officer safety. However, the MDT in no way diminishes the critical role of our dispatchers. They are, and always will be, the lifeline for all law enforcement, fire, and rescue,” Balderson concluded.