MAHWAH, NJ — A high-tech law enforcement tool that puts critical information at the fingertips of officers on patrol is helping Mahwah Police apprehend illegal drivers in record numbers.
The Mahwah Police Department is the first in Bergen County to equip its patrol cars with laptop computers that use Bell Atlantic Mobile's AirBridge® Packet wireless data service. Installed in 11 of the department's 20 patrol cars, the new wireless data system gives officers virtually instant access to Department of Motor Vehicles records, municipal court listings, and state and federal criminal records.
"Since the technology was installed in late February, we've been able to double our apprehensions of drivers with revoked licenses -- and that means safer streets for everyone in Mahwah," said Captain James Batelli. "Our officers look at their laptops as an essential piece of law enforcement equipment."
Mahwah officers especially like the speed and efficiency of Airbridge Packet service. Now, officers can access critical information directly in just a few seconds instead of relying on the dispatcher for every license check. Officers also like the car-to-car messaging feature that lets them communicate swiftly and confidentially.
"Using car-to-car messaging, headquarters can give officers real-time information, like a notice to patrol a certain troubled area," Captain Batelli said. "We also can give them reminders about information shared during roll call. It's like having a personal administrative assistant."
The system also enhances officers' personal safety. When the Airbridge Packet service identifies a wanted driver, the system instantly notifies all other wireless data-equipped patrol cars about the wanted driver and the arresting officer's location.
Captain Batelli said the department chose Bell Atlantic Mobile because of the company's approach to customer service and proven track record with other New Jersey police departments.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 112,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data, and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 5.5 million customers and 7,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work…" community relations program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.