GREENVILLE, SC —
Bell Atlantic Mobile and the City of Greenville Police Department are working to equip the local police fleet with nearly instantaneous wireless access to information before they approach a vehicle, house or suspect, allowing them to make critical decisions that will enhance their own safety, as well as that of the community. Laptop computers using Bell Atlantic Mobile AirBridge® wireless service will be installed in 30 City of Greenville police cruisers within the next month.
The system will give officers access to state and national law enforcement databases to retrieve complete motor vehicle records, criminal warrants, and other information in seconds.
"We believe in the value of technology in policework. It's definitely the wave of the future," said City of Greenville Police Chief Mike Bridges. "We intend to expand upon this current system, so that we can also eventually call up local criminal information and write reports to download to the system. This will benefit local residents by enabling our officers to spend less time doing paperwork and more time in the community."
"A police officer with a laptop computer will no longer have to get our dispatchers to run tags or driver's license numbers. His direct hookup will enable him to retrieve this information faster and more efficiently, and will relieve our already-overburdened dispatchers from this responsibility," added City Councilman Dayton Walker, chairman of the Greenville's Public Safety Committee. "Expenditures such as this are very much worth it to the taxpayers. We can expect more from our officers and give them an extra level of security only dreamed about just a few short years ago." Jim Akerhielm, Bell Atlantic Mobile vice president for the Southeast Region, said his company is pleased to be working with the City of Greenville Police Department and is looking forward to working with other departments interested in the benefits of wireless data technology.
"Our wireless data service, known as Bell Atlantic Mobile AirBridge® Packet service, uses our existing cellular network. This capability provides police departments with a much more reliable, affordable and versatile alternative to two-way radios," Akerhielm said. "There's no need to build more radio towers or be concerned with network maintenance or upgrades. Bell Atlantic Mobile takes full responsibility for maintaining and upgrading the system."
In addition to saving time, the mobile computer systems will increase the security of police department communications. Messages are "encrypted" or scrambled by the wireless data network to prevent unauthorized reception.
Editor's note: 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 Main to Georgia and, 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 is one of the world's largess wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments spanning Latin America, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile, visit www.bam.com; on global operations, visit www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.