Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

February 22, 2014

New system helps police officers respond faster

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta Police Department has unveiled its newest tool to combat crime and increase safety by decreasing officer response times.

The Automatic Vehicle Locator and Closest Car Dispatch systems are parts of the department’s ongoing efforts to incorporate state-of-the-art technology to better serve the community, Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress said Friday.

The AVL system has been implemented for several years, but the addition of the CCD allows officers in the field to be dispatched based on GPS location as opposed to a patrol zone.

“The way we’ve got it set up is that high-priority calls like an armed robbery, a burglary-in-progress or a code blue — when that call comes in, dispatch will type in a few bits of information, and then the system will automatically give a recommendation for which officers to send based on their location,” said Childress.

The previous system assigned officers to calls based on which zones the officers were assigned, but the new system assigns officers based on where they actually are, said Childress.

The VPD and Lowndes County 911 Center have tested the AVL CCD System for the past several months to ensure it is performing properly, and the testing “has proven the system works,” said Childress who has received performance feedback from officers and patrol supervisors who say the system improves VPD response times.  

“When your home is being robbed, a response time of four or five minutes can seem like forever,” said Childress who believes that shortening response times will save lives.

Childress also previewed a project on the horizon that would allow officers to view real-time video footage from the dashboard cameras of patrol cars that could serve as a kind of “virtual backup” for officers in the field.

The AVL CCD systems join VPD’s other technology projects in recent months including the Laboratory Information Management System at the Crime Lab and the Iron Sky Camera System. Each system, including the CCD system unveiled Friday, was purchased through grant funds and SPLOST revenues.

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