After a Year, Police Mapping System Proves to Be a First-Rate Police Tool

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For one year, police officers in Valdosta have been utilizing an in-car computer mapping system. Officers say the technology has been a major help, even for those officers who've lived in the Azalea City all their life.

Eric Shelton, a first year police officer, says, "Being from Valdosta, I'm pretty familiar with the streets, but there's always that street stuck in the middle of nowhere that you don't know where it's at, so all you have to do is pull up the computer map and type in the address."

Within seconds an officer can get a detailed map showing them where the trouble is, and allowing them to respond quicker.

Department officials say the computer mapping system in each one of the cars has been such a success that they want to expand the program to where every patrol car can be tracked by a dispatcher. They say there are many helpful aspects to that kind of technology expansion.

CAPT Brian Childress says, "If you have an armed robbery or a burglary in progress, the dispatcher could look at their screen and see which officer is in the area, and common sense will tell you, let's send that officer. He could get there much quicker."

That's what the experts say is key, using the latest technology to improve officer response time and save lives.

Valdosta police say they are also looking to create a citywide wireless Internet system so the patrol cars can receive the latest info at any time.