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Raritan Township Police Score Six-Fold Increase in Apprehensions
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's Wireless Data Technology Keeps Officers And Community Safe
May 5, 1997
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile
RARITAN TOWNSHIP, NJ -- Police in Raritan Township are putting illegal
drivers on notice: If you're driving without a license or wanted for
another traffic violation or criminal offense, chances are, you're
going to get caught.
Since December, Raritan Township police have scored a six-fold
increase in the number of drivers apprehended. Most offenders are
driving with suspended licenses, have failed to appear in court,
failed to pay child support or are driving stolen vehicles. And,
police can identify these wanted drivers in seconds from their squad
cars, thanks to Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's AirBridge® Cellular Digital Packet Data
The Raritan Township Police Department has equipped nine patrol cars
with laptop computers that use the wireless service. With just a few
keystrokes, officers can have virtually instant wireless access to
information they need to make critical decisions that will enhance
roadway safety, as well as their own security on the job.
The software that allows officers to connect with the Department of
Motor Vehicles, municipal court listings, and state and federal
criminal records is provided by Massachusetts-based Cerulean
Township Committeeman Jerry Zemlachenko and Chief Donald Montross led
the effort to enhance the department's communications capabilities.
After talking with Somerville Borough police, who purchased Bell
Atlantic NYNEX Mobile wireless data service last year, Zemlachenko
arranged to borrow two CDPD units from Somerville to test the system.
"The results were amazing," Montross said. "Using Somerville's
laptops during November 1996, our officers caught 69 people driving
with suspended or revoked licenses -- compared to only three in
With those dramatic results in hand, the Raritan Township Police
received the township committee's approval to purchase nine CDPD units
from Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile. The department plans to order five
more units for the remainder of its marked cars and another unit to
help undercover officers in the criminal investigation section.
"I keep getting asked when the new CDPD units will be here. Our
officers are all eager to use them," Montross said.
Montross said Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile was the obvious choice when
the department prepared to purchase CDPD service. "We never
considered purchasing service from any company other than Bell
Atlantic NYNEX Mobile. No other company offered us this advanced
technology, and they have an excellent reputation."
To Montross, the wireless technology is as essential to protecting
officers' safety as it is in identifying people who are wanted by the
law. "Our officers use the laptops constantly, to obtain vehicle
information in seconds, without leaving their squad cars.
"Just by typing in the vehicle's license plate number, our officers
can identify the registered owner and determine whether the vehicle
has been reported stolen," Montross said. "The system also identifies
citizens driving with revoked and expired driver's licenses."
Montross said the new technology makes officers more efficient in a
fast-growing county where roadway accidents are increasing as much as
4 percent each year.
"We have an overworked county communications system. In the past, our
officers called in driver's license numbers when they stopped a
driver, but license plate numbers were never routinely run, because
our dispatcher was always so busy. Now officers have access to the
same information and much, much more, in a few seconds."
Officers also like the car-to-car messaging feature that lets them
communicate swiftly and confidentially during stakeouts, emergencies
and day-to-day operations. Messages carried by the wireless
technology are "encrypted," or scrambled, to prevent unauthorized
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile Vice President Lonnie Lauer said his
company is eager to work with law enforcement agencies throughout the
"Our wireless data service uses our existing state-of-the-art cellular
network, so we're able to provide police departments with a more
reliable and affordable alternative to traditional radio
transmission," he said. "There's no need to construct additional
radio towers, and Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile maintains and upgrades
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, based in Bedminster, NJ, is the largest
wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest in
the United States.