Equipment and Technology Developments

Addition of Specialized Supervisors’ Vehicles (Tahoe Sport Utility Vehicles)
The additional equipment being carried by supervisors such as AR-15’s, extra ammo, body armor and helmets, less-than-lethal weapons etc. required more storage space. These specialized vehicles allow for that needed space. These vehicles also have FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red), some of which are hand-held units while some are mounted to the roof of the supervisor’s vehicle.

Less than Lethal Weapons
The Patrol Division now has additional less than lethal options available for their use in the ever-changing situations that present themselves. Some of these options include beanbag rounds designed to be deployed by a 12 gauge shotgun and a new TASER system designed to be handled and to fire like a handgun, and with a more powerful charge. In 1999 patrol officers and supervisors underwent deployment and use training and began utilizing the AR-15 rifle.

Officer Tools
Patrol officers continue to utilize many “tools” to help them with their work. Some of the tools are new and innovative and some are “old standbys” with new and improved technology. For instance, officers' vehicles are equipped with items such as in-car video, high-visibility light bars with overhead “smart-siren” controls, Lo-Jack trackers, 800 MHz radio, lap-top computers transmitting on 800 MHz scrambled frequency, in-car cell phone, etc.

Army Armored Personnel Carrier
The department obtained a surplus army armored personnel carrier in December of 1999. Known as MARV (Mobile Armor Response Vehicle), this retired military “Peacekeeper” is a 1981 Dodge frame with heavy gauge armored body. The vehicle weighs 8,420 pounds. There was no cost for the vehicle, but it needed intense refurbishing. The city shop began refurbishing the vehicle in the summer of 2000, and it was put into service in the summer of 2001. Approximately 272 man-hours were expended as well as approximately $11,000 in parts and labor.

Traffic Section Vehicles / Equipment
Between 2001 and 2002, the traffic section, in preparation to begin replacing their Kawasakis, tested Harley Davidson and BMW motorcycles as possible replacements. The tests resulted in the department selecting the Harley Davidson. The Traffic Section took possession of the first Harley Davidson in 2002.

SMART Trailers

In 2001, the Traffic Section received a 2001 Ford F150 pickup truck and scales for roadside inspections. The truck has also been configured to tow the department’s Speed Monitoring Awareness Radar Trailers (SMART). These trailers are portable, self contained speed-display units containing a Kustom radar unit inside the locked trailer. The unit is towed to a site and left on the roadside to display speeds of oncoming vehicles on a highly visible LED display. The goal of the trailers is to promote voluntary speed compliance and educate the public. The trailers also have the “StatPak” computer, which allows the user to gather traffic data that can later be downloaded to a personal computer for analysis.

Pro Laser III
The department also purchased eight of the new Pro Laser III infrared LIDAR systems. These hand-held LIDAR units are battery powered and measure both speed and distance. Having a 6,000-foot range enables their use as both a speed enforcement tool and a measuring instrument at accident scenes.

Information Technology Improvements
Information Technology improvements are a never-ending process that continue to receive attention and upgrades. The department has progressed from about 10 antiquated computers throughout the building to over 300 computers with all personnel having computer capabilities with a wide range of access to network computers and programs inclusive of, but not limited to, Internet access and email capability. There are also many management tools for scheduling, training, equipment inventories etc. In 1996, the department changed from 400 megahertz for the Department’s radio system to the 800-trunking system. This enabled the department, in 1997, to begin installation of laptops in all patrol cars. Patrol officers now run local checks, NCIC / TCIC, and check the notes file from the field. It also permitted dispatch to send calls digitally to the screen of the individual officer as well as sending it by voice transmission and enabled the officers to have better communications with each other and supervisors via data rather than voice when needed.

Live Scan Fingerprint Imaging
The jail began Live-Scan imaging of fingerprints in August, 2000, creating the ability to electronically send prints to DPS and FBI for instant reporting and search. It also assists in a quicker ID of suspects and is easier and cleaner than ink printing. Irving was the first jail in North Texas to go on-line with this system. An additional plus is that it stores all prints on a local database.

Digital Photos

Tiburon’s Imaging for Public Safety (TIPS) started in May, 2000, and provides a database that allows officers to pull up photos of all people booked into our jail and allows CID to put together photo lineups automatically by general parameter input.

Corrections Management System (CMS)
May of 2000 also saw the implementation of a computerized book-in system, Corrections Management System (CMS). Prisoners booked into the jail are entered and the information is stored on computers. Also during 2003 the process of installing a new door control system was begun which allows touch screen operation of the jail / housing areas from Central Control. This also included an upgrade to our recording system making it totally digital improving video quality and making the recall / retrieval process much easier and more efficient.

An imaging system for reports has been implemented and is used to scan accident reports, that process makes it possible to access accident reports via computer and print them as well.