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Case Studies
Colorado Sheriff's Department
Low-Cost Solution Required No Programming and No Software on Officers' PCs

Press Release issued July 2002:

Patrol deputies working for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office in Littleton, CO, can now check suspects' local arrest records and other local crime information from touchscreens in their patrol cars with the help of Enable, a software package that converts mainframe or AS/400 data to user-friendly Web screens without programming or the need to install special software on users' PCs.

Deployment of the Enable solution was so simple that deputies and investigators began using the system within a day after it was connected to the AS/400 computer dedicated to storing local warrants, criminal histories, found and missing property reports, concealed weapons permits and other sheriff's records.

Business consulting personnel then spent several days assisting the agency in using Enable's drag-and-drop customization utility to tailor user screens to the department's needs. The full rollout was completed in just three weeks.

Law enforcement benefits include faster information retrieval, a decrease in radio traffic, a reduction in workload for emergency dispatchers, and an increase in security because deputies no longer need to radio their information requests to the dispatch centre. Data is accessed wirelessly via CDPD, the same data transmission protocol used by the department to retrieve information from state and national databases.

"We were looking for a quick and easy way to enable deputies to retrieve our legacy data from their patrol cars without having to reprogram our database, write Java code or install and maintain client software on our car computers," said Rich Hakkarinen, chief technology manager for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. "Enable was the only solution we found that could meet those requirements, and it allowed us to get up and running practically overnight."

More than 100 Arapahoe County patrol vehicles used to cover the county's 850 square miles are equipped with ruggedized Panasonic Permanent Display Removable Computers (PDRCs) designed specifically for public safety environments. The computing portion of the system, which includes a wireless modem, is installed in the trunk. The fold up touchscreen display is mounted on the dashboard, with a keyboard available for use when officer input is required.

When a deputy or investigator needs to search the department's database, Enable operates transparently in the background to transform the green screens of the AS/400 into graphical user interfaces accessible by Web browser. Searches can be conducted by name, address, property, warrant or a number of other categories simply by tapping the appropriate button on the touchscreen. This eliminates the need to use a keyboard for many tasks and allows officers to work in a safer heads-up position.

This touchscreen functionality is made possible by Enable's ability to add buttons, images, frames and drop-down lists to user screens with a simple drag-and-drop customization procedure. Other solutions utilize a keyboard-driven character-based interface that cannot accommodate the screen setup required for touchscreen use.

Arapahoe sheriff's officials are now considering extending their use of Enable technology to empower motorcycle officers to access local crime data from handheld computers. This can be accomplished with Enable Wireless, which uses the same core technology as Enable to reengineer legacy computer screens to fit the size and orientation of handheld devices such as Palm computers and Pocket PCs.

Both 'Enable' and 'Enable Wireless' automatically translate legacy mainframe or AS/400 screens to HTML format through proprietary pattern detection and conversion technology, eliminating weeks or months of custom programming and also ensuring accuracy by preventing faulty recoding of legacy data. No software needs to be installed or downloaded to the user's PC or handheld because all functions are performed at the server. Both solutions run under Windows, Unix, Linux, OS/400 and OS/390.

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