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Durham, NC Police Officer Uses His PDA to Fight Crime

Members of the Durham, NC police department are computer savvy, using laptops in their patrol cars to run tags, wants and warrants, O.L. information, write reports (incident and accident reports, etc) communicate car to car, dispatch calls, etc.

Some officers use their personal PDAs to sketch crime scenes, record interviews, both written and voice recordings, store suspect and wanted persons photos and wanted posters, use mapping software to set up a perimeter during events or a hunt for a suspect, keep NC General Statutes and City Ordinances at hand, store the departments operating procedures and rules/regulations. They also use it in court and to keep notes and photos of the suspect and evidence on it, so they can refer to a photo when they walk in the courtroom.

Sergeant Gunter used his PDA to coordinate a very tense hostage situation at a local mall. He directed cars to secure the area and run the scene. He pulled up a map of the mall on his Axim PDA and used it to direct other Officers. He marked each spot where Officers were located, see areas that would need to be closed off to the public, and have a list of every available unit as it came on scene. By the time the mobile substation arrived, with all of these resources inside, all he needed was a seat to sit down in and wait for the negotiator to arrive. After the situation was diffused he realized the benefit of having floor plans on his PDA he downloaded all of the local school floor plans as well as other large public areas. The plans are on the laptops in the patrol cars, but having them on the PDA enables the Officers not to be ‘stuck’ in the car and to be mobile.

According to Sergeant Gunter, “The NuShield screen protector films provide excellent protection against scratches. I've also had several comments about the clarity of the NuShield and do not feel a screen protector on the face when using my PDA.”

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