Tulsa Police have a new weapon against crime

Monday, November 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police street officers have a new hi-tech weapon in their fight against crime.

70 Tulsa Police squad cars now have laptop computers that allow officers to wrap up their calls more quickly, which means they can get to more calls per shift. News on Six reporter Heather Brooker explains how they work.

Officer Cheryl Johnson loves her job as a Tulsa Police officer. A job she says is now a little easier thanks to modern technology. “If you're driving and you get a call you don't have to stop somewhere and write it all down. All the information comes up on the screen." Nearly six dozen Tulsa patrol cars now have laptop computers.

Officers have instant access to criminal records, drivers license information, and tag history all at their fingertips. Johnson says her laptop is a faster alternative to the radio which sometimes hindered her from doing her job. "It was hard to get on the radio. And by the time I was able to get on, somebody has taken off." George Smith: Information Resource Manager: "It's really a productivity enhancement tool." George Smith helped the city get connected with the laptops. He says when officers use them, they get the information they need faster, which saves the city time and money down the road. "Better service to our citizens. That's the whole purpose in doing this."

Officers say the new computers will make it easier to reach their goal of getting more criminals off the streets, faster. The laptops cost about $5.5 million.

The laptops were paid for by the extension of the third-penny sales tax. The department hopes to have 300 police cars equipped with them by the end of January