Technology putting more police on patrol

Major changes are coming to a local police department where outdated equipment had nearly eliminated their ability to do simple tasks like running a license plate.

In the past, making an arrest could keep an officer buried in paperwork for three to four hours.

Now the city of Marion is implementing a new technology system that is allowing officers to crumple up the paper and get back in the car.

Each of the departments 26 cars will now have laptops built-in that allow them to access and enter information in real time, meaning they can patrol a larger area.

Product manager Doug Blenman says the new CAD system also takes dates from old calls and arrests, and puts it at officer’s fingertips.

“It will appear on their screen in their cruisers and they can get driving directions, the history of the location, the history of the people that they’re working with,” said Doug Blenman. “Once they arrive on scene and diagnose the situation they can actually write their reports.”

The Marion Fire Department will also receive new laptops in addition to access of a free private network from Verizon.