Philadelphia Police Department Goes On-Line With Mobile Data Terminals In Vehicles

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Police Department has a new weapon in the war against crime that's fast, efficient and rugged. The new weapon is a laptop computer, which uses Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's AirBridge® Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) service to provide officers on the street with instant wireless access to the information they need to make critical safety-related decisions for themselves and the communities they patrol and serve.

The new system will give officers access to reliable, timely information before they approach a vehicle, house, or suspect, allowing them to accurately assess potentially dangerous situations. Police can connect directly to national, state and federal data bases, police computers, the National Crime Information Computer (NCIC), and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Another benefit of the system will be increased security of police department communications. Messages carried by CDPD are "encrypted," or scrambled, to prevent unauthorized reception.

After a successful field trial and a competitive bidding process, the Philadelphia Police Department concluded that Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's technology is an important state-of-the-art, crime-fighting tool for its force of approximately 6,500. By June 1, 1997, 250 laptops will be installed in Philadelphia Police cars, and by the year 2000, the City hopes all of its 800 vehicles will be equipped. Communications from the officers' laptops will be wirelessly carried over Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's cellular network.

In addition to immediate access to information and saving precious time in urgent situations, another benefit of this system is efficiency. For example, it can eliminate paperwork, and the need to go through a central dispatcher to get database information.

"Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile has worked with us from the beginning to ensure that the Philadelphia Police Department has the best, most complete, most durable wireless information system available," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Neal. "National Law Enforcement Week is a particularly appropriate time to announce this advancement, which will help us ensure resident and officer safety and increase efficiency."

"We know that police officers have some of the most challenging jobs in this country, and we are delighted to provide Philadelphia officers with a tool that will make them safer and more efficient while on the job. We look forward to working with other police departments interested in the benefits of wireless data technology," said Robert F. Stott, regional president, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile.

Stott also noted that this system provides a much more reliable and affordable alternative to traditional radio transmission. It uses the existing cellular network, eliminating the need for additional radio towers or network maintenance and upgrades.

The software that will allow officers to connect to national, state and federal data bases is being provided by PRC Public Sector, Inc., based in Reston, Virginia. Wireless modems, provided by Sierra Wireless, based in British Columbia, Canada, connect the laptops to Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's CDPD network. Conshohocken, Pa.-based L&E Mobile Computer Mounts, Inc. provided many of the mounting system components necessary to integrate the PC Mobile ruggedized laptop into varied patrol vehicle styles within the police department's fleet. L&E Mobile Computer Mounts, Inc. is a master agent for Gamber-Johnson.

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Note to Editors:

Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The company owns and operates the most extensive network in the east, covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless retail outlets offering a full range of wireless personal communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile has 4.6 million customers and 6,500 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company was formed in July, 1995, by combining the cellular operations of Bell Atlantic Mobile and NYNEX Mobile. For more information about the company, visit Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's Home Page at

Sierra Wireless is a leading supplier of cellular data modems. Sierra's product line includes AirCard, the PocketPlus 210 for Windows, Windows CE and Macintosh, the MP200 ruggedized, 3-watt vehicle-based CDPD/cellular modem, the MP200-GPS which include a GPS receiver, and the SB-220 OEM module. For more information contact Andrew Harries, Vice President Marketing of Sierra Wireless, Inc., #260 - 13151 Vanier Place, Richmond, BC, V6V 2J2. Phone: (604) 231-1100, or visit the Company's web page, at