Show Low Police Department
Special Award Consideration – Technology
The Show Low Police Department employs a wide variety of technology for traffic safety. This allows us to more effectively enforce traffic laws while reducing crashes and ultimately saving lives.
All of our patrol units are equipped with Mobile Data Terminals. We use Panasonic Tough Books and they are also equipped with license readers. They link wirelessly to our state system which gives the officers the ability to run all license and registration checks in their cars. The lap top computers also have GPS tracking installed which allows dispatch to see where units are and be more efficient in dispatching units to calls.
We also have a radar trailer that will display the posted speed and then show the drivers what their speed is. This has the ability to record the data to see what speeds are being recorded in an area as well as the volume of traffic. This is just another awareness tool and is sometimes used to help deal with a complaint in and area.
Many of our patrol units have In-car cameras installed. We are switching over to mostly the Watch Guard cameras, but do still have other brands that are being phased out as the cars are retired or units quit working. These are great tools in the battle against impaired drivers, aggressive drivers and even speeders. We no longer have any units that have VHS cameras, they are all DVD systems.
In addition to in-car cameras several of our officers have wearable cameras on their person as well. Again some of these are Watch Guard models which were provided to 8 officers. Some officers have purchased their own brands and models as well.
We have Portable Breath Testers (PBT) units available to every squad. There are units that rotate through the shifts, but all squads have at least one assigned to either the squad Sergeant or Lead Officer. This is done so there is always one available. These are used in the field to get preliminary breath results (Blood Alcohol Concentration – BAC) on suspected impaired drivers. They will later be given an Intoxilyzer 8000 breath test at the station during booking procedures and further DUI investigation. As part of that further investigation we have Judges on call if a search warrant is needed and a phlebotomist either on the squad or available for call out to collect blood samples. There is a restraint chair available in the booking room if needed as well to assist in the collection.
For speed enforcement we provide several different forms of radar. We do still have some older Kustom units which can be used stationary or put in a mount to do moving radar. Most units are now the Talon units and several are directional. We recently got 5 Lidar units that are now in the field as well. There is always some form of radar unit available for patrol units to use.
As weather and time permits we do have two new Honda motorcycles which can be used by 3 trained motor officers. The motor units also have Lidar as well as Talon radar units available to them. All motors are fully equipped with radios, markings and all emergency lights and sirens.
In our effort to handle any conditions as well as be more effective at traffic enforcement we have a diverse fleet of vehicles. We have marked and unmarked four wheel drive SUV vehicles as well as marked and unmarked front wheel drive passenger cars. We also have a quad utility vehicle available if needed in special circumstances.
Another piece of technology that we have available to us through the city is a lighted message board at a busy intersection alongside one of the main streets through town. We can use this to get out information as needed. We add upcoming enforcement campaigns and can also use it for other announcements or warnings. There is also a large Arizona Department of Transportation ADOT sign over the highway as you enter the west end of town that we can use with their permission in case of emergency or for road conditions in storms or Amber Alerts etc.
We have 3 other technology tools available to us to use for either information gathering regarding traffic data or also to get information out. The three items are Nixle, Crime Reports.com and We Tip. With the Nixle tool we can get information out to citizens concerning issues or hazards in their areas. We can use it to put out information on collisions, road closures or other emergencies as needed. Crime Reports.com allows us to map and track any problem areas in town. This database is connected to our department reports so it would allow us to do a pin map or hot spot map of a particular area to see if there was a traffic collision issue or not. The third piece is We Tip, which is a tool that allows citizens to provide information about crimes and may be rewarded for their information. This would be a tool we would use if we had something like a Hit and Run traffic collision that we needed the public’s help in solving such as a fatality for example.
Lastly we have some great technology in the way of our traffic safety cameras. These allow our dispatchers to have a real time video feed of different roadways and intersections around town. These fixed site locations also have license plate readers installed on them. This is linked to the stolen vehicle data base to alert us to any stolen vehicles. We can also enter vehicles to watch for Amber Alerts or criminal suspects as well. Monthly we also enter repeat traffic offenders into the LPR system who appear to be disregarding their notices or have seriously reckless violations, so they can be located and personally cited. The mobile van does not have LPR ability or a live feed to dispatch, but it is a great tool for speed enforcement in different areas.