Police and firefighters rely on Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) to receive dispatch information in the field. They were a huge step forward back in the eighties. But some of the City's MDTs are so old we can't buy parts for them anymore.
And MDTs aren't computers. They can transmit and receive information, but they can't do anything with the information other than display it on a screen.
Mobile Data Computers (MDCs) which will replace them are real computers. They can search databases – for example, of fingerprints or photographs – and help public safety agencies perform work on the scene that currently requires a trip back to headquarters.
The City transmits data to MDTs over a radio system which was recently upgraded. It's faster and covers more territory, but it also requires newer equipment in the vehicles.
On March 12, 2002, City Council approved a contract with RCC Consultants, Inc. to help select, buy and install new improved information systems.
RCC interviewed public safety and IT managers in April, 2002, and is now using the results of those interviews to help the City decide what brands and types of equipment it should be shopping for.