A little over four years ago, a police department in the southern part of the U.S. was struggling with constant computer reliability issues, from hard drive crashes to replacing screens to failure issues due to extreme temperatures. When a computer stopped working in the field, officers had to leave their patrol and return to the station to get another car with a functioning device. If there was no car available, all of the officer’s instructions needed to be given over the radio, which put a drain on productivity of the entire force.
The agency knew they needed to upgrade their mobile computing solution and invest in reliable technology that offered the flexibility and portability needed for officers to use their laptops both in and out of the vehicle. After evaluating several mobile computing options, the department chose the Panasonic Toughbook 31, which enables officers to take it out of the car and use it to monitor service calls out in the field, respond to a scene or even refer to during lunch.
Given the past issues with computer failure, durability was an important consideration for this police department. Temperatures inside a police vehicle can reach up to 180-plus-degrees. They wanted a reliable device that could withstand the heat, while still providing the quality features they need. Over the four-year deployment, the department’s Toughbook computers have taken a few beatings – even a car fire that destroyed nearly everything in it, except the Panasonic Toughbook.
Beyond the durability of the Toughbook brand, it also was important for police departments to find a manufacturer that offered quality support services. When failures happen or parts need to be replaced, it is especially critical for law enforcement agencies to quickly receive the support they need to better serve the community and keep officers safe.
With the previous computer vendor, when a computer would break, the manufacturer several months to fix and replace a broken device. However, with Panasonic, if a device is broken it can easily be swapped out for a new device. The police department went from having to wait 120 days for a repair with the old manufacturer to just three days with Panasonic professional services team. After four years of using the Panasonic Toughbook, the police department has not experienced any major issues.
In addition to utilizing rugged Toughbook mobile computers, the local police department also uses Panasonic’s Arbitrator HD in-car video evidence solution. By using Arbitrator in conjunction with their Toughbook laptops, officers are able to connect to a web-based accident reporting application where they can manage and upload video to a secure server. Several of their patrol cars also have license plate recognition, which they can capture through their Toughbook and Arbitrator solution. Soon the department will be doing field based reporting, where officers will be connected to a record management system and entering reports directly into the system from the laptop. This will help to improve productivity and efficiency in the field and allow officers to spend more time directly with the community.
To read the full case study, visit ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/computer/casestudies/metro_police_dept_casestudy.pdf
For more information on Panasonic’s latest rugged mobile technology solutions for government and public sector visit, www.toughbook.com