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From the filing cabinet to the cloud.

March 21, 2017

The Webster City Police Department has just completed the implementation of mobile data terminals in each of the Department's vehicles. This has been a long process and was very demanding of the Department members and the City's Information Technology Department. This advancement brings the police department up to speed with the majority of other agencies in the State of Iowa including the Iowa State Patrol.

Each police vehicle was equipped with a Panasonic Toughbook laptop computer. After an in depth evaluation process, the decision was made to go with the Toughbook. The Toughbook is designed for the rigors of police work and the harsh working environments associated with it. In addition to a computer, each vehicle contains a thermal printer, scanner and GPS/Cell booster. This allows officers to complete accident reports, incident reports and citations from the vehicle. This improvement has proven to boost efficiency and reduce off street time. Previously, officers had to leave the street and complete all reports in the station.

The police department currently uses MACH and TraCS programs. These programs are offered free of cost by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Both programs are part of The National Model project. Many states have developed software based on this project.

MACH stands for Mobile Architecture for Communications Handling. This software program allows for GPS tracking of officers and vehicles, user messaging, and interoperability between agencies. Soon this will be expanded to include Fire and EMS agencies within the State of Iowa. MACH is an officer safety tool that

TraCS stands for Traffic and Criminal Software. This is a nationally recognized program that provides a standardized platform for accident reports, uniform citations, criminal complaints and various other forms used within the State of Iowa. This software negates the need for officers to carry multiple forms with them at all times. In addition, this software allows officers to scan the barcodes on driver's licenses and vehicle registrations to make the citation and accident report process more efficient.

To comply with record keeping guidelines and rules, all of the documents processed were kept in a paper format. This resulted in several filing cabinets taking up space in multiple rooms of the police department. The implementation of MACH and TraCS has allowed for more of the police department activities to become "paperless." Every citation, complaint and accident report is stored with the Iowa Department of Transportation on their system, freeing up much needed space in the police department.

This project will ensure the citizens of Webster City and those who visit will receive the best service the police department has to offer. Many new and exciting improvements will be coming to the police department in the upcoming months.These improvements could not have been made without the support of the City Manager and City Council. Their support is greatly appreciated by the Police Department.



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