All Sheriff’s Patrol units are equipped with mobile computer scanners and “TraCS” (Traffic and Criminal Software) which allow deputies to scan driver’s licenses, issue tickets and complete and file accident reports. The goal of TraCS is to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on Ulster County roads. The program produces traffic tickets, and/or accident reports, including associated documents such as supporting depositions. It uses a Mobile Data Computer (laptop), a hand-held scanner, and an armrest-mounted inkjet printer. The electronic ticket and/or accident report is transmitted to the NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles and to local courts. The hand-held scanner also captures pictures of accident scenes. The TraCS software accommodates supporting depositions for traffic summons, criminal information, statements and appearance tickets. It also produces DWI forms.
Mobile infrared cameras scan the license plates of cars automatically while a deputy is on patrol. Scans are matched against a New York Statewide Police Information Network (NYSPIN) "hot list" that contains stolen cars and plates. The user can manually enter plate numbers of cars associated with an Amber Alert or a crime such as a robbery suspect on the loose. The user can also point a camera behind him to capture the plates of cars that have driven past him in the opposite direction. The system is capable of running up to 10,000 plates per shift. Cameras have enabled patrol deputies to recover stolen cars, arrest persons on warrants, and issue citations for no insurance and suspended license plates and to identify numerous stolen plates.
In-Car Video Cameras
The Sheriff’s fleet includes 35 recording units deployed in patrol vehicles and some special applications as well. With digital equipment, the patrol unit ends its shift either at one of the substations or the Law Enforcement Center and the video automatically downloads through wireless connection and deletes from the car when the download is complete. The video can then be viewed on supervisor’s desktops to check deputies' performance. The video-camera-equipped car automatically records when the deputy turns his emergency lights on, or manually records through a button on a microphone he or she carries. The District Attorney’s office also is connected to the video system for prosecution of crimes captured on the cameras.
Bio-Key " PocketCop® " software is installed in a Blackberry (handheld) PDA, which is connected wirelessly to the Sheriff’s Mobile Data Computer server system. This unit gives a user in the field similar access shared by Sheriff’s patrol units, the 911 center, and several town police units. Access to databases includes the ability to immediately search local, state and federal databases and to securely communicate with MDC equipped patrol units and office desktops. Users can wirelessly request criminal background checks; DMV information, Wanted/Missing Persons and Stolen/Lost Property checks; internet and e-mail access. BlackBerry PDA handheld systems are issued to detectives, sergeants and administration.