Valdosta Police to Test Wireless Computers

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Valdosta police will soon be testing out a wireless Internet system for their in-car computers.

Mobile data terminals have become essential tools for Valdosta police officers. While they can assist police, the officers must return to department headquarters to get the latest information downloaded into the computer.

Soon, Valdosta police will test two different wireless Internet systems which will allow the officers to remain on patrol while still getting the latest information on their computer screens.

Brian K. Childress, Valdosta Police spokesman, says, "We're looking at a two week test period. We plan to equip a couple of police cars with this technology and then we're going to test it and see how it works. If I've got a missing child out there, I can send information anywhere in the city with the full system. I can send a photograph or I could send video to our patrol cars at one time and that's data that’s valuable to us."

Computer experts with the South Georgia Regional Development Center say law enforcement agencies in our area could really benefit from a wireless Internet system.

David Vondersmith, an analyst at the South Georgia Regional Development Center, says, "When you see the improved service to the community while they're doing all this work, as well as the accountability and safety aspects, I think it’s very worthwhile."

It’s still early in the process, so once the testing is completed Valdosta police will review the data and then turn the program over to the Valdosta City Council for consideration.

Preliminary estimates place a wireless Internet system for the Police Department at around $8 million.