Auburn Police to advance public safety

July 8, 2009

By Chris Vessell bio | email

Auburn, AL (WTVM) - The Auburn Police Department will soon install brand new computers in 32 of its patrol cars. It's a huge step forward in meeting the department's goal of placing a laptop in every single patrol car.

"Much of what we rely on in law enforcement is information, information about suspects, information about accidents, information about incidents that take place," Capt. Tom Stofer, APD Public Information Officer said. Relaying information quickly in law enforcement is crucial.

Currently only 19 cars out of a fleet of about 65 Auburn patrol cars have laptops. "We've got to call that information in, and then our communications division relays back to us information about that driver or about that vehicle," said Stofer.

Now Auburn police officers will have a new resource that will help them respond to calls quicker.

The Auburn City Council approved the use of $122,095 for purchasing in-car computers at its Tuesday meeting. "With that money in part, we will equip another 32 vehicles so that after we get done with a second go round, if you will, we'll have 51 of our patrol cars equipped," Stofer said.

Auburn Police were awarded a grant from the Justice Department last August that will pay for the new laptops. That grant also includes $121,001 worth of software. "Our mobile data initiative is to get laptop computers in every vehicle that we have," Stofer said.

Capt.Tom Stofer says the approved purchase will give the department a leg up in this advanced information age. "Overall, it will be a benefit to the community in that we'll be able to get there quicker and render more efficient service," he said.

In addition to the laptops, the Auburn City Council has approved the purchase of 9 new dashboard cameras that will replace older out-of-date cameras.