Newport police cars finally go digital – KAIT

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NEWPORT, Ark. (KAIT) – The Newport Police Department is getting laptops installed in its vehicles for the first time ever.
In June, the department received a grant from the Arkansas Highway Safety Office to place laptops in all 22 of its units.
“I know officers are excited, anytime anybody gets anything new, they’re excited,” said Lieutenant Mark Harmon.
Harmon explained just how much work went into a call when all officers had was a phone or a radio.
“You had to pick up the radio, talk to dispatch and you had to rely on dispatch to give you every single thing that you needed,” he said.
Sometimes, the officers relied on their own phones.
Police officers couldn’t write reports in their vehicles either, they had to make the trip back to the police station.
“Driving back and forth, extra gas, but it also took them off the streets, and it put a damper on response times in an officer all across the city is having to go back up to the police department,” Harmon said.
When officers pulled a person over, they wrote a citation. Now, the laptops can print them, saving the officers time.
The laptops also provide officers with more resources to gather information on a call, rather than relying on their dispatcher.
Harmon said other agencies will also benefit from the upgrade.
“With these laptops, we’ll be able to communicate efficiently with each other, other counties, other jurisdictions whether they be all across the state,” he said.
Harmon said it’s an upgrade everyone in the community should be excited about.
“This is a tool that will better help us serve them,” he said.
The Newport Police Department said all their vehicles will have laptops by the end of next week.
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