Police car laptops

Fall 2004 - The sheriff's department is installing laptops in every police car. This will allow each officer to do reports and paperwork on scene that normally would require a trip back to the station. Each car will have a printer so paperwork can be filled out in the field saving time for the public and the officer.

Each laptop will have a GPS receiver and GPS software. This will assist with call location. Additionally, many reports (such as accident reports) are migrating to GPS coordinates for location identification. Each officer will also have a digital camera to use to collect pictures for investigations. Digital pictures can be stored and transmitted easily. A main server is located at the station as a central collection of files. The server and each laptop has a wireless connection.

Each car package consists of the following items:

Gateway laptop
Epson printer
DeLorme GPS receiver and software
Olympus D-540 digital camera
Jotto Desk mounting system
375 watt TrippLite AC inverter
USB hub, and various cables

Gateway was a dream to deal with. They supplied everything except the Jotto Desks and created a special package part number just for us. This made it very convenient for us as there were 27 systems to be installed.

Here are some of the 27 laptops after they were unloaded. They were stored at a more secure location.

Here are the printers and Jotto Desks.

Installation of the laptops is simple. The passenger seat is removed...

...so the inverter can be installed under the seat. It is switched by a spare switch in the control panel to minimize battery drain. This also allows the officer to control when the laptop is recharged.

The Jotto Desks (P/N 425-5340) are simple and rugged.

They mount using the front seat bolts. The leftmost bolt is also used to mount the equipment console so we had to purchase longer bolts.

The laptops are setup in masse using my wireless network. They are semi-customized for each officer.

Each laptop is teamed with its printer. Drivers are loaded and the printer is tested.

The Jotto Desk is assembled...

...and the computer is mounted.

The power and USB cables for the printer are run under and behind the rear seat.

The printer is connected and set in place. It can be seatbelted into place, or put in the trunk as needed.

The wiring is assembled. The USB hubs only came with a foot of cable. I would have preferred 6 feet, but we made it work.

The DeLorme GPS receivers were placed on the dash. They connect via USB.

Here are the Olympus D-540 digital cameras. They also connect via USB.

Here is the view of the laptop from the driver's seat. It can easily be moved for passenger use or positioned vertically for storage.

The laptop project is working great. The officers now have a mobility they've never had and they can finish their paperwork quicker and in the field.

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