Somerville Police Use Wireless Data System to Keep Streets and Officers Safe
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January 23, 1996
SOMERVILLE POLICE USE WIRELESS DATA SYSTEM
TO KEEP STREETS AND OFFICERS SAFE
SOMERVILLE, NJ -- Somerville Borough
Police today have a new, high-tech weapon for tracking stolen
vehicles and nabbing wanted drivers, thanks to an agreement
signed by Mayor David Hollod with Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile to
equip police cruisers with new wireless data technology called
Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD).
Ten laptop computers using the company's AirBridge® Packet
Data service, will be placed into Somerville Police squad cars
by the end of January. Financed with a capital bond approved in
the 1995 Somerville Borough budget, the computers will provide
patrol officers with virtually instant wireless access to
information on drivers and their vehicle license plates.
The new system gives officers access to reliable, timely
information before they approach a vehicle, house, or suspect,
allowing them to accurately assess potentially dangerous
Somerville Police Lieutenant Richard Rose said the benefit
of the new technology will be two-fold. "Bell Atlantic NYNEX
Mobile has given us a valuable tool that can protect our
officers' safety on the road and help them identify people who
are wanted by the law. Many citizens out there have outstanding
warrants for their arrest, some are driving when their licenses
have been revoked, and others are driving stolen vehicles.
"Using CDPD technology, our officers can obtain basic
information on the vehicle in seconds, without ever leaving their
squad cars. Just by typing in the car's license plate number,
our officers will know whether the vehicle has been reported
stolen and to whom the vehicle is registered," Rose said.
The new technology also will make officers more efficient.
"Before we obtained this technology, we had to check driver's
licenses and plates through a dispatcher, who usually was
juggling three or four other calls at the time. That process
took several minutes, compared to the five seconds it takes with
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's wireless data service. Officers now
can connect quickly and directly with the state and national
Rose said his research into wireless technology showed that
police departments using CDPD technology soon increased their
efficiency up to six times. "When we looked at options for
upgrading our existing radio system and enhancing our
communications capabilities, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile had the
best, most cost-effective solution to our problem," Rose said.
"Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile wrote the book on wireless data
technology, and they provide the creativity and personal service
to go with that technical knowledge."
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile Vice President Lonnie Lauer said
his company looks forward to working with the Somerville Borough
Police, and is eager to work with other law enforcement agencies
interested in the benefits of wireless data technology.
"We're able to provide police departments with a much more
reliable and affordable alternative to traditional radio
transmission because our wireless data service uses our existing
cellular network," Lauer said.
"There's no need to construct additional radio towers or
worry about network maintenance or upgrades. Bell Atlantic NYNEX
Mobile takes full responsibility for maintaining and upgrading
Another benefit of the new system is increased security of
police communications. Messages carried by CDPD are
or scrambled, to prevent unauthorized receptions.
"Using this new technology, we'll be more productive than
ever. During a routine patrol, our officers can tap in a license"
said. "For example, you can often turn up stolen vehicles in the
parking lots of motels and hotels during the night shift."
The software that will allow officers to connect with the
Division of Motor Vehicles, municipal court listings of
outstanding warrants, and state and federal criminal records --
as well as the department's own in-house computer system -- is
being provided by PacketCluster Systems of Massachusetts.
With more than three million customers, Bell Atlantic NYNEX
Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East
Coast. Based in Bedminster, NJ, the company offers a full range
of wireless voice, data, and paging services to the Northeast,
mid-Atlantic, Southeast and, through a separate subsidiary, in
the Southwest. The company was formed in July 1995 through the
combination of Bell Atlantic Mobile's and NYNEX Mobile's cellular
for more information, contact:
- Lynette Viviani,Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, 201 283-9228
Lieutenant Richard Rose, Somerville Police, 908 725-0331