CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lt. Steve Huber said patrolling the streets of Charlotte has gotten exponentially easier for officers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s North Division because of new laptops with 4G modems and routers, Lt. Steve Huber said.
"I felt like the first caveman that had discovered fire because I was one of the first to get this system and it is such a major improvement over what we had before," Huber said.
Most functions, like completing police reports, videos, mapping areas and detection of electronic monitoring devices could be done before, but it took so much longer that officers would choose to return to the office to do it. The computers to do those functions are now in their vehicles.
"The technology now is just as good in the car as it is sitting in the office," Huber said.
That's because of an $8 million federal grant the city received from the Broadband Technology Opportunity program. The increased speed saves time on one end and gives officers more time in the field.
"Officers are able to solve crimes a lot quicker while they're there in the field,” Maj. Lisa Goeltz said. “They're more visible in the community, which means there's a higher perception of safety in our community, which is very important to us."
In addition to the police patrol cars, fire stations across the city will also be equipped with the new technology to make firefighting more efficient as well.
"Now we have the technology to support that sense of urgency," Huber said.
Once all aspects of the federal BTO program are in place, Charlotte will be among the first cities able to log onto a special broadband just for police, fire and public safety officials.
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