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  • #16
    Originally posted by SoCal Public Safety View Post
    Not locked in, I'm just happy with my experiences with the product and would like to continue using it. I could probably survive without it if necessary.

    Again, don't have to have real-time field reporting, but I would like to if possible.

    The detex software we currently use does not use MS Access, so that licensing shouldn't be an issue. I would need to talk to our vendor about the detex software licensing. I didn't think there was anything limiting the number of computers it's installed on, could be mistaken though.

    A database like you're talking about could work for us, and wouldn't require constant internet access. If they update the info whenever they're in range of the office, like you said, that should be fine. Property info, license plates, etc. would still be available to them. I just would really like the messaging capabilities. We could use cellular SMS, but I'd prefer not to. We'd also run into issues now because of California's new law against texting while driving. Not that I'd want my officers using the laptop while driving, but IMO checking a message on the computer screen would be much easier than a cell phone.

    At this point, none of these things are mandatory, just preferred. However, we were considering using this as a marketing tool to sell clients on our ability to easily and instantly communicate with officers in the field. We've also considered looking into setting something up allowing clients to login to a webpage and view their assigned officer's activity, location, etc. Not sure what would be involved with that though.

    I'm starting to see more and more that what I want is going to be a lot of headache and a lot of money. Leave it to me to make things complicated.

    Thanks again!
    Glad to help. Certainly, in the spectrum of possibilities there are options that are much less expensive than others, so don't give up on the functional ideas you have. I'd suggest starting by prioritizing them in order of preference and tackling the highest-order item first. I also highly recommend at least one consultation with a communications expert who really knows your local area. There might be some options available that neither of us knows about. Check "Business Radio" or "Radio, Business" in your Yellow Pages. An independent consultant is best, of course, but a vendor who advertises that they work with many different kinds of radio systems (some also represent Nextel, other cell carriers, etc.) would be a good second choice. One that represents only one type of system such as Motorola would be a poor choice.

    One thing I would strongly caution against is letting your clients see where "their" officers are in real-time. (They're not "their" officers, in truth.) While this can be done without much difficulty using a GPS tracking service, I don't predict that it will result in a happier client. Chances are pretty good he'll only be checking on the location when he wants to see someone right now, and the officer will almost never be where your client wants to see him - down the street). I've learned that every client thinks that he is your ONLY client, so what's he doing loafing around two miles away?

    The value of GPS tracking would be for you or your dispatcher to see where the units are (as well as collecting data related to other management issues)...not for your clients to watch them.

    And, of course, there are huge potential OPSEC issues with letting anyone but your own staff know where units are at any given point in time.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-26-2009, 04:13 PM.
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    • #17
      SoCal, how large of an area are you looking at covering? If it is a single large property or several single porperties, a WLAN might be a much better way to go. They can be made quite secure and can easily grant access to a company intranet with limited or no Internet access at the vehicle. Wireless access points are easy to obtain, set up, and maintain, and with each generation the technology becomes faster and stronger (further signal reach). Even with multiple sites it could be made to work (a roving patrol would have no access while in between sites, but could file real-time whilst on property). Coupled with the correct incident report software/information database, this could provide up-to-the-minute field reports to those in the office.
      "I don't do judgment. Just retrieval."

      "The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it."