What is Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL)?

automatic vehicle locator (avl)

Did you know there are over 800,000 law enforcement officers serving in the US? These professionals work continually to improve their effectiveness in protecting their communities, and part of that involves using modern law enforcement software.

Automatic vehicle location systems are crucial when it comes to managing a fleet, but not everyone understands how this type of application works.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

So, What Is Automatic Vehicle Location?

In short, AVL is a system that uses GPS tracking to follow the location of vehicles in real time.

This information is then transmitted to a central software application so that fleet managers can see where all of their assets are at any given time. This allows for much better coordination and decision-making when it comes to managing a fleet of vehicles.

Additionally, the live location updates of units in the field can help improve employee safety.

How AVL Works

AVL systems usually consist of three main components:

  • GPS tracking devices that are installed on each vehicle
  • A central software application that collects and displays data from the tracking devices
  • An interface through which fleet managers can interact with the software

The GPS tracking devices used in AVL systems are usually quite small and can be easily installed on a vehicle.

They use satellite signals to determine their location and then transmit this information to the central software application using a cellular or radio connection. The software application then displays the location of each vehicle on a map in real-time, allowing fleet managers to see exactly where their assets are at any given time.

Types of AVL Systems

There are two primary types of AVL systems: active and passive.

Active systems are typically more expensive but offer a number of advantages over passive systems. For one, they allow for two-way communication between the tracking device and the software application. This means that fleet managers can not only see the location of each vehicle but also send commands to the devices themselves.

This type of system is often used in larger fleets where real-time communication is essential.

Passive systems, on the other hand, only allow for one-way communication from the tracking device to the software application. This means that fleet managers can see the location of each vehicle but cannot send any commands to the devices.

Passive systems are often used in smaller fleets or by companies that do not need the extra features offered by active systems.

What Are the Different Applications of AVL Systems?

There are many benefits that come with using an AVL system, such as improved coordination, increased efficiency, and better safety. Each of these plays a large role in optimizing your fleet management system.

Let’s take a closer look.

Improved Coordination

AVL systems can help to improve the coordination of police units.

For example, if a police officer needs backup, they can use their AVL system to see which other units are nearby and dispatch the closest one. This can help to reduce response times and ensure that officers always have the support they need.

Increased Efficiency

AVL systems can also help to increase the efficiency of police units.

For example, if dispatch needs to send units to areas where they are needed most, they can use AVL data to determine which areas have the most police activity. This helps to make sure that resources are being used as efficiently as possible.

Better Safety

The safety of police officers is also a key factor to consider.

For example, if data from AVL systems are used to monitor the speed and driving habits of police officers, this information can be used to provide feedback and training. Over time, you’ll improve officer safety and reduce the number of accidents.

Contextual Examples

Here is a brief example of how AVL might be used in a law enforcement context.

If a police officer needs backup, they can use their AVL system to see which other units are nearby and dispatch the closest one. This can help to improve response times and ensure that officers always have the support they need.

AVL systems can also be used to track the location of police vehicles so that dispatch can send units to areas where they are needed most. This helps to make sure that resources are being used as efficiently as possible.

Finally, AVL systems can be used to monitor the speed and driving habits of police officers. This data can then be used to provide feedback and training to help improve officer safety and reduce the number of accidents.


Many people think that AVL systems and GPS systems are the same. However, there are some important differences between the two.

GPS systems are designed to provide location data for a wide range of purposes. For example, you can use GPS to get directions, track your fitness activity, or find your way around a new city.

AVL systems, on the other hand, are specifically designed for fleet management. This means that they often have features that GPS systems don’t, such as real-time tracking and the ability to monitor driver behavior.

So, while GPS systems can be used for AVL purposes, they aren’t always the best choice. If you’re looking for a system that is specifically designed for fleet management, AVL is the way to go.

Understanding Automatic Vehicle Location Is Easier Than It Seems

Although automatic vehicle location software may seem complicated at first, it’s actually quite simple. Once you know the basics, you’ll be able to leverage it to improve key metrics at your agency.

Looking for other ways we can help you out in the future? Be sure to reach out to us today and see what we can do!

What Is Push to Talk Over Cellular (PoC)?

If you manage some of the 800,000 law enforcement officers in the US, you likely are always looking for new ways to streamline your operations. Push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) technologies are an important alternative to traditional radios. They get officers and officials in contact with each other while on the field directly from a smartphone or PoC radio device.

Here, we’re going to talk about two-way radios and how they work. Read on to learn why it’s important to employ these systems ASAP.

What Is Push to Talk Over Cellular (PoC)?

PoC combines the basic concept of a walkie-talkie with modern cellular technology. They combine communications into a single device. This device looks and feels like a radio, but connects using cellular connections, not traditional radio technology.

PoC technologies were introduced in the early 2000s. They were designed to support 2G and 2.5G networks. Over time, they have evolved to support intense data applications with 4G/LTE coverage.

Efficient communication is mandatory in law enforcement so that officers can work together to stay safe and solve cases. They must also be able to communicate with their command staff and dispatchers to receive updates. For long-range communication or transports, the person that an officer needs to contact might not be close enough for traditional radios, and PoC devices provide an alternative solution.

How Does PoC Work?

With PoC, you get greater coverage than a simple radio would give you. It lets you communicate with anyone using the 4G or 5G networks similar to what your smartphone provides you. You can access it as a smartphone app, meaning that the user doesn’t need to carry multiple communication devices while in the field.

PoC is also a simple technology that requires no more infrastructure than a smartphone. You don’t need to download multiple pieces of expensive new software or link your phone to other hardware. It’s all done within a simple app interface that you can download from a reputable provider.

You can connect as many users as possible to a PoC network. This makes it an effective tool for large law enforcement teams or those collaborating with other police units or precincts.

Group calling is also made easier with PoC applications. It’s easy to develop specific talk groups and communicate with multiple people at once.  Updates can be pushed over the air (OTA), allowing for remote management. Traditional radios made this challenging because the user would need to put time and effort into linking multiple devices together (plus repeaters, new software, etc.)

10-8 Systems PoC Technology

10-8 is a top provider of PoC technologies. We ensure that your speech is clear so that others can receive your message. When you speak and send small voice packets through our platform, you can rest assured that it will come out clearly on the other end.

Our PoC technologies come with dozens of awesome features in addition to a clear connection. Our computer-aided dispatch system doesn’t just allow for voice transmission but also serves as a hub for all of an officer’s needs. Features you can access include crime reports, unit status monitoring, updates, self-initiated callouts, mapping, emergency button access, and more.

Invest in Two-Way Connectivity Today

Now that you know the basics of push-to-talk over cellular technologies, it’s time to begin using them to streamline your law enforcement operations. Our experts are committed to helping you find solutions that work for your specific applications. Contact us for a free system demo and pricing information today.

New Dispatching Software Helps Improve Public Safety

Public safety professionals rely on quality computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems and public safety cloud system to help protect their communities. Without knowing it, members of the general public also rely on dispatching software as they expect their first responders to provide the best possible service. Regardless of their level of experience, law enforcement, firefighters, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel agree that the rapid exchange of information through the use of dispatch software plays a key role in their job performance. 

This article will highlight ways in which dispatching software positively impacts both the first responder and the public they serve. At first, it may seem the interests of these two groups are aligned. That is largely true, but their reliance on the technology used in public safety also bears different types of importance for each group. Even when the advantages appear the same, the reasons for the benefit can be diverse.

Why Dispatching Software is Important to Public Safety Professionals

When a 911 call is placed, the dispatch software is already putting the proverbial wheels in motion to get help where it is needed. By instantly providing addresses, caller information, unit assignment, and more, dispatching software aids first responders in getting to the scene with the necessary information. 

In the EMS world, for instance, medics know the importance of the Golden Hour. This concept, often equated to the victim of a stroke, purports that after a traumatic injury, the patient’s chances of survival significantly increase if they are in a treatment facility within 60 minutes. State of the art dispatch software can be a vital tool when this clock is running. Through mobile technology, medics can be provided directions, informed of any hazards, notified about previous incidents with the patient, and coordinate advanced rescue techniques, all through integrated dispatching software.

Similarly, law enforcement officers responding to an active shooting incident will undoubtedly rely on mobile technology when accessing maps, researching suspect and address histories, and coordinating a tactical approach to the scene. Additional benefits of dispatching software technology will unfold with the establishment of command posts, equipment/personnel staging locations, media areas, and reunification sites.

Finally, firefighters’ use of laptops, tablets, and cell phones linked to computer-aided dispatching (CAD) software can aid in both their response to the scene and actions taken once there. While en route, fire hydrant and standpipe locations can be accessed, and entry plans coordinated. Additional responding units, such as ladder trucks, heavy rescue vehicles, and tankers can be managed from a mobile command post linked to a shared software system in the dispatch center. Ultimately, a concept as easy as putting water on fire can be greatly aided through the use of technology.  

How the Public Benefits from Dispatching Software

The public justifiably desires a high level of service from their local law enforcement agency. Dispatching software can aid in that service. For example, if one reports a prowler around their house, the technology used to gather and disseminate information provides a benefit to the public they will likely never realize. Computer-aided dispatching software allows 911 dispatchers to immediately determine the appropriate units to respond to the call for service. 

What the victim is not seeing, is the vast amounts of information the officers have at their fingertips as they arrive. From their in-car laptop computers, or any enabled mobile device, responding units can access mapping technology to not only display the best route to the scene, but also to evaluate possible avenues the suspect may take to flee the area. Officers and dispatchers can also share information about crime trends related to similar calls for service in the same neighborhood. Detectives, crime analysts, or other patrol units may have developed information about a suspect’s vehicle or clothing description, or perhaps even identified the probable suspect. Dispatching software and mobile technology allow officers to access and share information instantly, from anywhere and deliver the quality service the public expects. 

That service is expected from the onset of a victim’s needs and usually begins with a 911 call. While the use of this three-digit number is not new and is well known to most, law enforcement software technology behind the scenes has vastly improved since the 911 system came into widespread use in the 1970s. Modern dispatching software can help pinpoint a caller’s location, even if they are unable to communicate.  Simply calling 911 will let emergency dispatchers know where a caller is and get help on the way. 

Additionally, computer-aided dispatching software can aid 911 call takers in determining any prior responses to a particular location.  This can include any notations of special hazards or simply provide information that allows first responders to better help someone in need. For instance, when the Golden Hour clock is running, being able to get to the patient is paramount.  Dispatching software can give responding medics valuable information to expedite providing care. For example, having the gate code to a subdivision or knowing that a neighbor has a key and can open the patient’s door means more time devoted to patient care.  

Public safety professionals and the communities they serve, continue to benefit from the advances in dispatching software and public safety software. The improvements in the ability of first responders to access vital information, exchange critical data, and maintain records of calls for service is a direct result of mobile technology being integrated with modern dispatching software systems. The result is better, faster, and higher quality service.  In the realm of public safety, that service equates to lives being saved. 

Are Public Safety Agencies Equipped for Modern Mobile Technologies

When the two-way radio was introduced to policing, it was a marvel of mobile technology. The ability to transmit one’s voice across several miles brought about increases in efficiency and safety. For decades, the two-way radio mounted in a patrol car, and later in fire departments and emergency medical service (EMS) vehicles, served its purpose well. In fact, its original function remains an important part of public safety communications. 

The mobile landscape, however, has evolved.  Today’s public safety professional relies on the ever-increasing advances in technology to provide tools that aid them in serving their communities. In much the same way the hand-held two-way radio developed from the in-car version, mobile technology continues to advance to include laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other internet-capable devices.

Targeted and Delivered Benefits from Modern Mobile Technologies in Policing

The key goal in adapting mobile technologies for first responders is mainly focused around transforming data efficiency. Key objectives at the specific mobile technologies level include:

  • Reducing the time spent in the station 
  • Improve workflows by reducing processing time of policing tasks
  • Increase policing efficiency by increasing accuracy and availability of information
  • Enhance law enforcement capabilities by reducing redundant police officers and dispatcher tasks.  

Law enforcement officers should be aware that as the nature of society changes, and policing adapts to meet those demands but there must be a willingness to adapt. There is also a need for an effective awareness of what the changes will bring and the manner in which they will require forces to adapt in the future. 

What the Mobile Data Terminal Did for Public Safety

The laptop computer mounted in a patrol car, firetruck, or ambulance, originally provided some basic information which aided the users in the performance of their duties. Today’s mobile data terminals (MDT) put the entirety of the internet and designated systems at the fingertips of public safety service providers. It offers not only information which increases productivity, but safety measures which save lives. 

An MDT equipped with GPS, allows dispatch personnel, supervisors, and other units to know the location of all on-duty personnel. This feature has obvious safety implications when a law enforcement officer, for example, is not answering the two-radio.  Knowing his or her precise location means help can get to where it is needed without unnecessary delay. Another advantage of GPS technology within the MDT can be found in the fire service. During a major incident, any experienced fire officer can attest that personnel and equipment logistics is a key element in firefighting. Gone are the days of paper maps and pushpins. Instead, mobile technology allows the incident commander to access integrated mapping and GPS systems to aid in vehicle staging and equipment management. 

The chat features in MDTs and other mobile technologies enhance both communication and record-keeping. Chat conversations can be customized to ensure necessary personnel are included while helping to protect the integrity of any information which needs to stay secure. Detectives and SWAT team members may be preparing to execute a search warrant, for example. Chat communications can be restricted to the members assigned to this specific task. However, at the operation lead’s discretion, select members of patrol or other units can be included as needed to help ensure the safety of the scene and overall mission. Finally, all of these messages can be saved as part of the case file and used for report writing, after-action critiques, or for any purpose in which memorialization is necessary.  

Mobile Technologies and Smartphones Aid Police Investigations

With mobile technologies police officers can stay connected even when not in their stations or vehicles. Law enforcement can access important information using law enforcement software and public safety software, have private communications with fellow officers and law enforcement officials, and access departmental resources. 

Mobile technologies allow police officers to have easy access to important information at their fingertips.  In addition, law enforcement gain access to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Police National Database (PND), and the Police National Computer (PNC).

Mobile technologies working in cloud-based servers enable first responders to be able to store large amounts of data, dictate and submit reports from any mobile device, and access information from several databases.

Mobile devices also allow first responders to write electronic citations, or e-citations. Police officers can issue citations quicker and with less problems. It also eliminates the task of writing physical tickets and reduces the mountains of paperwork related with writing them. 

Overall, mobile technologies minimize mistakes and therefore less citations are being removed in the courts due inaccuracies. The most important benefit of e-citations is the improvement of officer safety with less time being spent on a traffic stop and out of patrol vehicles. 

Mobile Technologies Increase Situational Awareness for Officers

Mobile technologies give first responders immediate access to crime bulletins and alerts. Therefore these technologies remove the guessing game on whether you believe  you saw an individual on the bulletin board. Instead, a police officer can look up the individual on his mobile device to confirm. Furthermore, an officer can use mobile technologies to show citizens pictures of wanted suspects.

Mobile technologies help reduce the need for paper and significantly reduce clutter inside a patrol car.

Mobile Technology Beyond the Laptop

Many agencies are finding the portability and versatility of tablets to be a welcome addition to their cloud based mobile technology toolkit like public safety cloud. Some have replaced the traditional laptop with a tablet and keyboard, while others use the tablet as a complement to the in-car MDT. Regardless, the inclusion of tablets and smartphones has proven their worth to public safety providers are only stand to increase in their use.

Paramedics can use these mobile devices to communicate directly with personnel in the emergency department for both instructions and to alert them of the arriving patient’s condition. Depending on the applications installed, tablets and smartphones also have the ability to aid in diagnosis and treatment procedures.  They can also be used in conjunction with the computer-aided dispatch systems to exchange information with members in the communications center. This ability aids both dispatcher and EMS supervisors in determining manpower needs based on availability and location. 

Another example of smartphone and tablet technology’s relevant applications can be found in forensic investigations. While crime scene investigator responsibilities can vary by agency or state, the ability to access information is a universal benefit. Having the resources of an agency’s records management system (RMS) at the scene of a crime can help investigators in multiple aspects. Comparisons to other crimes or references to prior incidents can add insight and provide additional leads during an active case. Delays associated with contacting others to access important records and relay the information can be largely eliminated by having the Police RMS available on a tablet or other mobile device.

Mobile Devices Clear Radio Traffic

As mobile technology evolved from two-way radios to vehicle-mounted laptops to the use of tablets and smartphones, computer aided dispatch and mobile technologies have served as a means to enhance the data exchange benefits of these devices. 

The flexibility of using modern mobile technologies means they will grow as new technology improves or even new systems are introduced. Modern dispatch workstations in a dispatch center now resemble that of NASA’s mission control. However, thanks to modern technologies, CAD and mobile technologies keep a vast amount of data organized and readily available.

Mobile Technology Not Just for Those Wearing a Badge

Public safety organizations are often associated with only those personnel who hold certifications in the agency’s specialty such as law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services. While police officers, firefighters, and paramedics obviously play a key role in their agency’s mission, there is a host of staff behind the scenes that help make the operation run smoothly. The benefits of mobile technology are not lost on these important functions. 

Those involved in fleet management often use portable technology to catalog repair records, determine scheduled maintenance needs, analyze wear and tear, and evaluate fuel efficiency. Members of a law enforcement agency’s evidence and property room function have long known the advantages of proper tagging and categorizing their items in their charge. 

Mobile technology integrated with the RMS helps keep track of evidence and other items by scanning their movements directly into the associated case file. This creates a permanent record within the RMS which details the chain of custody for each item. Finally, human resources staff have found benefits in mobile technology through the application process, background checks, and at off-site recruiting events, just to name a few.  

Mobile Technologies Streamline Administrative Processes

There are a variety of ways in which mobile technologies can be advantageous to law enforcement and first responders. Three specific categories relating to improving the effectiveness of first responders: 

  1. Increased productivity by field units
  2. Officer safety and accountability
  3. Administrative and management needs.   

Administrative offices can benefit from real-time data through data management and other mobile technologies. For instance, law enforcement or administrators can access various locations or programs and can be instantly changed as circumstances dictate.    

The mobile landscape for public safety is destined to continue its growth. By having the mobile technologies, RMS and computer aided dispatching systems part of a practical and portable tool, agencies will undoubtedly improve the effectiveness and efficiency with which they serve their communities.

Ultimately, one of the main buy-in factors for law enforcement in embracing modern mobile technologies and other technologies is that it reduces the time spent on administrative tasks.

Police officers want to use technology for their advantage, which often means getting back on the streets to save lives and protect their community.   

Benefits of Going Paperless and Switching to Digital

There is probably someone reading this who is within arm’s reach of a fax machine. Still more common, is the sight and sound of a commercial grade printer/copier/scanner not far from one’s workstation. While some public safety agencies like fire fighters, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel or security companies, believe these types of machines will always be part of their office landscape, others are finding the benefits of embracing the paperless approach. Going paperless and switching to a digital format is not as challenging as some may think and the advantages continue to grow as technology streamlines the process. 

Creating a Permanent Record

Most law enforcement agencies are moving to cloud-based systems, or at least moved away in the recent past. Boxes of police reports, arrest affidavits, use of force reports, investigative files, and more can take up significant physical space.  Often, these files ended up producing even more paper when the information contained within them was needed. For example, it is not unusual for a detective to need a case file from several years ago for an upcoming court proceeding. As mentioned, these files were often stored in paper form, usually in a box within a secure room with thousands of other reports. Knowing these were often the only copy of a report, detectives would spend time at a copy machine, making duplicates of the files to bring to court. In other words, more paper. 

The use of a modern records management system (RMS) can help agencies reduce the perceived dependence on paper and ensure records are securely retained. With cloud storage of the RMS data combined with computer aided dispatch (CAD), the concern over the extant copy of a paper report being lost or damaged is removed. Instead, these digital records remain a part of the agency annals for as long as desired without the need to store bulky paper files. 

As advances in forensic science continue, the likelihood of cold cases being solved increases as well. When stored in paper files, decades-old investigative reports can pose a danger to the successful conclusion of cold cases. A well-meaning detective may have pulled the file with the intent of reopening the case. However, pressing duties meant the reports sat on his desk for a few weeks, then into a drawer for a few months.  As time passes, offices are moved, people are transferred or promoted, and paper files have a way of vanishing.  

Regardless of when a case originated, cloud-storage solutions like public safety cloud offer case file integrity with permanent retention of important reports.  Paper files can be incorporated into the modern digital RMS and accessed by detectives or other authorized personnel as needed.  Lost or damaged paper files can be an issue that is discussed as a thing of the past and no longer a concern for public safety personnel. 

Going Paperless Means Improved Data Organization

An anonymous tip about an unsolved homicide comes into a law enforcement agency. The information points to a burglary case in which a distinct item, a class ring, was stolen. For the police department still in the paper report age, the search through files and fading human memories begins. Countless hours can be spent trying to find the theft case previously thought to be unrelated to the now years-old homicide. Was the burglary a few weeks or a few months before the murder? Or was it after? Was it in the same precinct or a different part of town? Maybe the cold case is destined to remain unsolved.

With a state-of-the-art cloud-based RMS combined with state-of-the-art dispatch systems, a few entries into the search function are likely to reveal exactly the case in question. Dates, time, subjects, and perhaps its relevance to the homicide could all be found in a fraction of the time it would take to comb through boxes of paper files. Of course, this benefit extends to more routine cases as well. Even the most sophisticated filing system cannot compare to the efficiency of being able to access the whole of an agency’s RMS from any enabled device. From a desktop to a laptop, from a tablet to a smartphone, instant, digital information has proven its superiority over the paper format.

Other advantages of a paperless system include the service an agency can provide to the public. In the era of government transparency, accessibility of records is expected. The information in police reports is often a matter of public record. While there are obvious exceptions for confidential data and active investigations, the citizens served by a public safety agency are usually entitled to reports related to the organization’s activities.

When paper copies of records were still the most frequent way to get them to the public, it was not uncommon to see a black marker used to redact parts of the report.  In the digital realm, the redactions can be done electronically and with greater efficiency. Victims’ names, social security numbers, and other information can be easily removed from reports before they are distributed. The ability to send the files via email also increases the quality of service provided and saves money by not having to print and mail hard copies of reports.                       

Cloud Flexibility and the Paperless Transition

When files were stored in boxes and space was nearing capacity, agencies had to make tough and often expensive decisions. Building additional rooms or renting storage is costly.  Repurposing other areas in a police station often meant sacrificing another component of the operation. Discarding old files to make room meant making the risky decision its contents would never be needed in the future. Of course, anything from a leaky pipe to a natural disaster could make all of these measures moot if these files were destroyed.   

RMS combined with dispatch software can offer cloud-based solutions that can easily be expanded to meet the growing data storage needs of 21st-century public safety agencies. Additionally, the cloud offers redundant safety features ensuring data is not only available but protected from loss. While paper and copiers may still be found occasionally, they are likely destined to go the way of the rotary phone as cloud technology offers practical paperless alternatives.

How can CAD Transform an Agency and Why

Public safety agencies rely on data for nearly every aspect of their operation. It is common to associate data with functions such as a records management system (RMS), computer aided dispatching (CAD), and mobile computer-aided dispatch (CAD) software technology. However, an organization’s finances, purchases/supplies, fleet maintenance, human resources, and a host of other components also depend on proper data management. 

Data has become such a growing commodity, the feasibility of its management can exceed the capabilities of an organization’s on-site servers and hardware. Cloud-based systems that are being adapted by first responders and private companies, like law enforcement or emergency medical services (EMS), are increasingly proving to provide solutions to data storage and management issues. Once thought of as a futuristic concept, cloud-based solutions like public safety cloud demonstrate the efficiency and security of this now modern technology. 

Cloud Storage Based on Organizational Needs

Digital storage capacity should never cause an agency to compromise its effectiveness. Information is a form of currency with regard to its value to an organization’s ability to accomplish its mission. As such, limitations on maintaining information can certainly be counterproductive. Many may remember being told by someone in their agency to clear out some of their old computer files to make room for new information. Still, others may experience a pop-up window indicating there is no more storage available on their computer, even when it is part of a network server.  

So, what happens to that old data? In the past, it was often deleted or stored on an external device with little to no organization. A drawer or box full of thumb drives is not an effective backup system. Cloud-based data management helps alleviate the guessing process. It is no longer necessary to decide which pieces of information are important enough to be retained and what can be deleted to make room; a dangerous scenario if the guess is wrong and valuable data is lost. 

Instead, the use of mobile cloud-based solutions allows agencies to easily and economically expand their storage needs. The volume of data an organization manages is destined to grow as technology improves.  A customizable storage plan including a cloud-based solution should be a part of every agency’s operational planning process.

As an example of data expansion, consider the growth of video used in modern law enforcement. A few decades ago, dash-cam video was literally stored on VHS tape in the trunk of a patrol car. Today, agencies often use multiple high definition cameras in their patrol vehicles in addition to body cameras, building security cameras, and traffic cameras. Add the social media and public relations videos many police departments use in their community outreach and it is easy to see a VHS tape will no longer meet the demand. Cloud-based storage expands as the data volume increases without the need to purchase additional hardware.

Security and the Cloud 

Law enforcement agencies are in the business of protecting the communities they serve. Logic dictates part of those protections extend to the data with which these agencies are entrusted. Through the use of AWS GovCloud and SSL encryption, cloud-based data storage offers a far superior level of security than traditional on-site servers. The following four examples reveal the ability of cloud-based technology to meet many of the security needs of public safety agencies: 

  1. Much of the data held, accessed, or transmitted by a law enforcement agency falls under the protection of Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS). Established at the federal level, CJIS aims to ensure criminal justice information is secure from the time it is created until its lifecycle has ended. Strict protocols are in place which requires any organization handling criminal justice information to do so in compliance with a series of security dispatch requirements. A cloud-based data management system that meets these requirements earns the distinction of being CJIS compliant.     
  2. Not unlike CJIS, there are also federal level protections relating to medical information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), serves as a means to ensure one’s medical information is not only private and protected from unauthorized disclosure, but secure from both nefarious and accidental release. Many public safety agencies have medical information in their databases which could be protected by HIPAA regulations. Cloud-based storage which is HIPAA complaint adds the benefit of information protection with the advantages of expandable and secure cloud technology.  
  3. Many public safety agencies seek the benefits of accreditation in the pursuit of meeting a set of industry-approved standards. To be accredited, an organization must demonstrate compliance with policy guidance directives, often under the scrutiny of external assessors. Nearly all state, national, and international accrediting bodies require compliance with high levels of data security.  These requirements are also extended to cloud-based records management systems as the accreditation process recognizes the value of this growing technology.      
  4. Cybersecurity is an ever-growing concern for organizations that manage data. Too often, media outlets report on an agency whose data was breached and made inaccessible.  Sometimes referred to as ransomware, computer hackers essentially hold an organization’s data hostage and demand payment for its release. Systems that are housed in on-site servers, even those with built-in back-up, can be particularly susceptible to ransomware attacks. Cloud-based technology includes off-site storage in highly secure facilities. The systems are backed-up in several equally secure but distant facilities helping to protect against these types of attacks.

Cloud-based Systems Reduce On-Site Issues in Data Management 

In addition to the advantage previously noted regarding security, cloud-based systems do not require the same number of I.T. personnel as an on-site system. The reduction in hardware and server maintenance also means fewer outages and downtime. Maintenance of systems functioning in the cloud happens behind the scenes and does not affect the user. These benefits also reduce the chance of unscheduled outages due to natural disasters or similar events. For instance, a hurricane can easily disable an on-site server, even with a back-up system. Cloud-based technology, on the other hand, uses multiple back-up locations and provides uninterrupted services regardless of weather conditions or other catastrophic incidents. 

How Advanced Security Dispatch Software Helps Maximize Personnel

Technologies such as computer aided dispatch systems (CAD) used by security service providers have come a long way since the clipboard and sign-in sheet were considered thorough. The use of advanced security dispatching software is essential to modern security guard companies and provides for a host of advantages over outdated methods. For example, the ability to better manage a team and maximize their productivity can be directly linked to the inclusion of security dispatching software as part of a provider’s toolkit.

Personnel Management Through Security Dispatching Software

Regardless of the industry, managers tend to agree that personnel accountability is a universal challenge for supervisors. Advanced dispatching software used in the security field can help alleviate some of those challenges and increase both accountability and productivity. Gone are the days when staff names were written on a chalkboard or affixed with magnets to a whiteboard.  

Today, security dispatchers utilize the latest in software technology to show the status of all on-duty personnel. Through GPS and mapping features, the location of each officer is displayed as well as their availability. With customized accessibility, supervisors and other officers can also see this information through the use of integrated mobile devices. When a call for service comes in, security dispatching software can pinpoint the nearest available unit and initiate a response. Back-up units and supervisors can also be dispatched as needed. Depending on the urgency of the call, officers on routine rounds or nonemergency incidents can temporarily clear their status and respond to high priority events. No longer is a dispatcher using those chalkboards, magnets, or a two-way radio in an attempt to see who is available. Advanced security dispatching software instantly provides all of that information and more. 

Proactive Patrol and Security Dispatching Software

Officer rounds, security patrols, guard check-ins: no matter what a security provider calls it, nearly all companies expect their officers to make regular checks of the property they protect. Some require a certain number of rounds per shift, others mandate the specific locations to be checked, while still others use various combinations of time and place criteria to ensure their officers maximize their coverage.

The use of security dispatching software can play an important role in these security check-ins. They can be scheduled and assigned automatically at the interval required by the client or security manager. They can also be randomly assigned to avoid any noticeable pattern in security patrols. Irrespective of how officers are tasked with their rounds, the use of mobile technology combines with the security dispatching software to add a precise record of when and where officers checked in during their patrol. Officers can also add notes and pictures to document anything of significance during their rounds. All of this information is added in real-time and is immediately available to the security dispatcher and supervisor to determine if further action is needed.

Any nonemergency incident noted during a check-in can be accessed by the officer upon the completion of his or her rounds. This provides the needed details to complete an accurate and timely report. Additionally, since everything is timestamped in the security dispatching software, not only are the details in field notes available, but also the exact times of each event, entry, or officer action.

Security Dispatching Software and Improved Communication

While the two-way radio still has a valid function in security service, during breaking emergencies, for example, the use of security dispatching software is continually providing enhanced communication methods. The use of the chat feature, for instance, allows for information to be exchanged between field units and dispatchers with remarkable customization.

Depending on the desired setup features, designated personnel can establish chat conversations with all or some of the on-duty personnel. A dispatcher may only need to relay information to one officer or team of officers.  Similarly, continued chats will remain within that designated group.  On the other hand, a supervisor may want to alert all on-duty personnel of a situation through the chat feature. Another benefit found in all of these types of chat communications is the detailed record they provide of the conversation. Each person’s remark is time-stamped and can be used later to compile a report, create productivity logs, or provide for another memorialization need.           

Activity Logs and Security Dispatching Software

As previously noted, accountability is an important component of personnel management. Security dispatching software’s ability to provide detailed activity logs serve a variety of administrative functions. When an officer includes a picture of something unusual discovered during rounds, for instance, it can be added to a daily log. Depending on the situation, this log may be sent to the client so they are aware, or it could be a matter for the maintenance department to address. Having a photo along with the officer’s report can add clarity to the situation which needs to be addressed. 

Activity logs can also be used to document productivity. The details of incidents handled, reports written, rounds made, and other information can be included when evaluating the performance of individual officers or entire teams. These, of course, can include improvements made since previous logs were reviewed or help shape policy to increase overall security efficiency.   

When a new security procedure is implemented, either at the request of the client or as a best practices approach, determining its effectiveness is an important step. Activity logs help serve that function in that they can be compared to previous logs. For instance, a company may decide to increase patrol rounds as a result of trespass complaints. A year later, the activity logs can be compared to determine if those and other incident types have been reduced. This information and more can be obtained through security dispatching software.  A comprehensive periodic report can be compiled for the client to demonstrate the quality of service a security company is providing.

How Does Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) Assist the Telecommunicator

The job title of the primary user of a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system can vary greatly; telecommunicator, 911 operator, emergency call taker, and dispatcher, are but a few examples. Regardless of what they are called, these unsung heroes are in the business of saving lives. In that quest, professional dispatchers count on the technology of a modern computer aided dispatching system to assist them in helping the public and first responders.       

Emergency Call Takers Rely on Computer Aided Dispatching When Seconds Count 

Lives can be saved when state-of-the-art dispatching software is among the tools used by emergency call takers. When a frantic mother calls 911 because her baby is not breathing, the dispatcher does not have the luxury of time. A delayed response of even a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Computer aided dispatching software instantly works to allow the dispatcher to provide the vital help needed. 

Integrated mapping software pinpoints the caller’s location and determines the closest unit to respond.  Through an Emergency Medical Dispatching (EMD) feature, properly trained dispatchers can provide the caller with instructions for CPR or other emergency medical treatment. The interoperability of the computer aided dispatching software means the details entered by the call takers are simultaneously seen by the EMS dispatcher who can relay vital information to paramedics. This can include pertinent medical history, directions to the scene with considerations for traffic and construction, as well as entry instructions such as gate codes or unlocked doors at the location of the emergency. 

The Information in Computer Aided Dispatching Software is Vital To 911 Operators 

Combined with an agency’s records management system (RMS), computer aided dispatching software puts volumes of information at the fingertips of emergency dispatchers. However, it is not simply the amount of data available, but the ease of accessibility through proper information management which is the true benefit of CAD software technologies. The ability to find key details in prior reports or incident notes can improve service, enhance first responder safety, and increase overall efficiency.

For example, the case of a missing Alzheimer’s patient is an especially trying call for service for all involved. Dispatchers will be gathering valuable information from the caller reporting the incident while field units will immediately begin a search of the patient’s last known location. Historical factors relating to both the patient and the location can offer clues about the whereabouts of the missing person. For instance, has she been missing previously and if so, where was she located? Does she have access to a vehicle and if so, can a description be obtained through a search of previous records? If the caller is not related, is there information about the next of kin in prior interactions? Finally, do earlier incidents make note of the patient’s banking records so credit cards or ATM usage can be determined? Of course, all of these factors can depend on the level of dementia with which the patient is contending, which also could be found in notes from previous calls for service.    

Dispatching Software Helps First Responders Know Where Help is Needed 

The first question most 911 operators ask when answering a call is some variation of, “Where is your emergency?” This is a common protocol for good reason. To help at the scene of an emergency, first responders have to know where to go. The accuracy of the location is paramount when getting help on the way. Take the previous examples for instance. When an infant is not breathing, how important is it for medics to know the address on Main Street is 1234 and not 1243? When the Alzheimer’s patient is missing, is it relevant that she was walking east on 123rd Avenue as opposed to traveling west? 

Mapping technology with computer aided dispatching software can improve accuracy when identifying the true location of an emergency. When a caller cannot provide their location, dispatching software will not only display the numerical address but also pinpoint the position on a map and indicate valuable cross street identification.  This will be used by first responders to arrive at the scene as quickly as possible. It can also be used to aid the dispatcher in verifying the location of the caller by asking about their surroundings and any landmarks. 

The importance of knowing the history of calls for service was discussed with regard to medical and missing person cases. Law enforcement dispatching software is also a valuable safety tool for police officers when responding to a potentially violent subject. Regardless of whether an officer is assigned to a call for service or they use the self-dispatching feature, important information about the location or persons at the location can be found in the computer aided dispatching system. 

While patrol units are en route, emergency dispatchers can determine if there are any active alerts associated with the call for service. An alert can relate to a location, a person, or both. For example, the address where a verbal disturbance is occurring might have an active alert to let responding officers know there is a subject at that location with a history of violence towards law enforcement. Additionally, an alert might be used to indicate a person at a particular location has a disability and suggestions on interactions may stand to ease an emotionally difficult situation. An up to date computer aided dispatching system can aid the telecommunicator in providing lifesaving instructions. It also allows the 911 operator to access vital historical data, it helps the emergency call taker know exactly where help is needed, and it provides the dispatcher with information to keep officers safe. Regardless of their title, these are the first, first responders and the voice of calm in the darkness of chaos.    

How Law Enforcement Uses RMS and CAD System Data to Prevent Crime

Modern law enforcement agencies are increasing their crime prevention efforts through data-driven initiatives. Fortunately, for organizations with up to date records management systems (RMS) and computer-aided dispatch systems, some of the best data for that purpose is already in their possession. This benefit is exponential when the RMS is integrated with an organization’s computer aided dispatching (CAD) system and mobile technology.

One of the primary advantages of data-driven crime prevention is the ability to focus resources where they are actually needed. Most commonly referred to as hot spot policing, this effective technique begins with the examination of data already found in an agency’s CAD and Police RMS. Through a combination of reported crimes, arrests, and suspicious activities documented by patrol units, police professionals can pinpoint certain areas in which to concentrate their efforts. 

In decades past, agencies would attempt to thwart criminal activity by increasing routine patrols in what was then identified as “high crime areas.” The problem with that approach resulted in trying to cover too large of an area and not having a real impact on crime. Additionally, some agencies found that these saturation attempts quickly eroded the trust they shared with the community.  In turn, information and tips from the public which the police rely on to help solve crime also greatly decreased. 

The data-driven approach of hot spot policing tends to focus on much smaller areas.  Research has shown that crime often happens in clusters of a few blocks down to the singular street level. By identifying these hot spots, police can develop an operational strategy to combat criminal activity.   

This is where modern law enforcement software and public safety software come into play. Using the features in both CAD and the RMS, agencies can isolate hot spots and determine the frequency of crime based on type, time and day, and possible suspect(s). This level of specificity allows for a tailored approach based on a host of factors. Any combination of patrol officers, detectives, supervisors, and crime analysts can develop a customized plan to address the unwanted activity in a particular hot spot. 

Perhaps the data points to a simple increase in patrol as a probable solution. Maybe the use of unmarked cars or undercover officers is the right tactic. Other information found in an agency’s database may call for the use of a bait car, the aviation unit, or a multi-agency task force. The benefit of the data-driven approach to crime prevention is that much of the guesswork is taken out of the equation. What feels right may not always be the best means to the desired end.           

How Does All This Good Data Get into an Agency’s System

For an agency to use data to prevent crime, the information first has to be present and available. Fortunately, state-of-the-art CAD and RMS make data management an almost seamless process. These three examples will help illustrate data development:

  1. A patrol officer happens upon a subject walking near an industrial area at 2 am. All of the businesses have been closed for hours and her suspicions about this subject’s activities are certainly justified. The officer confronts the subject and begins an interaction to determine what he is doing in the area. He provides a version of events that involves him walking to a friend’s house in a neighborhood a few miles away. A check of his ID reveals no active warrants. His story is a little odd but since he was on the sidewalk and not actually around any closed businesses, the officer completes an electronic field interview card and releases him.
  2. In the next scenario, a man discovers his credit card was used to make several online purchases which he did not authorize. He reports this to the police who, after interviewing him, find that his wallet was likely stolen from his car. He admitted to the officer that he often leaves his car doors unlocked both at home and when he is at work. The unauthorized purchases were for gift cards that were sent to an address out of state. The IP addresses involved in the transactions appear to have been masked and the out of state recipient turned out to be a private mailbox company.  Although the officer entered all of the details into the RMS by completing his report, the case appears to have reached a dead end.
  3. In the final example case, the police are called to the scene of a domestic dispute. A neighbor reports a husband and wife are having a loud argument on their back porch. When officers arrive, they separate the couple and try to calm the situation. It appears to have been an argument over finances. They each told the officers that money has been tight, and tensions were running high. They confirmed that no physical disturbance had occurred, and it had been a verbal dispute.  As is common, the police agency’s policy required a report which contained all pertinent information.

A few weeks later, a crime analyst was evaluating case data by running various reports within the agency’s integrated CAD/RMS. His findings were passed to a detective for further follow-up.  The investigation and analysis of the data point to the subject in the verbal disturbance with his wife. It turns out, his financial struggles led him to be bribed. For a few hundred dollars, he provided the gate code to the secure parking lot at his place of employment, an industrial complex. It was also discovered this same complex had a series of auto burglaries in recent weeks. The thief, it seems, was particularly interested in stealing credit cards which he sold to someone who was making illegal purchases of gift cards.

Perhaps a single piece of information does not seem important when initially included in a law enforcement report. However, technology permits even small amounts of data to be evaluated for possible connections to other records. The combination of law enforcement professionals and quality data can greatly increase the effectiveness of an agency’s crime prevention efforts.


Parking Enforcement Software

10-8 Systems Offers A Digital Real-Time Parking Enforcement Software System that is Designed To Efficiently Issue and Track Parking Compliance Citation for Law Enforcement and Parking Enforcement Patrol.

Parking Enforcement Mobile Tracking

Our Parking Enforcement Software System is a cloud-based system that is easy to use and aims to reduce parking violation inconsistencies. This system also enhances parking enforcement officers ability to do their job by properly documenting vehicle information, taking photos, documenting location through GPS tracking, and look at past vehicle violation history.

24/7 Online Payment Solution

Through a 24/7 online portal ticket violations can be paid, disputed, changed, or modified online using a citation number issued during parking infraction. Furthermore, your administrative team can improve compliance and payments by issuing discounts or payment plans to encourage faster payments.

Backend Parking Enforcement Management

Our mission is to make the most complete Parking Enforcement Software system for parking enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies. Our parking ticket software includes a modernized office management feature to enable agencies to run all backend office management duties such as managing overdue citations, automatic issuing late fees, and more.    

10-8 Systems Parking Enforcement Software – Top Features

  • Plate Recognition
  • Citation Tracking
  • Citation Writing
  • Violation Mapping
  • Photo Documentation 
  • Online Payments
  • Vehicle Ticket History
  • Paid Violations Summaries
  • Overdue Report
  • Automatic License Plate Recognition



Patrol Ticket Enforcement Officer

Mobile Parking Tickets

Documenting Infraction

Realtime GPS Location Tracking

Court Appearance Scheduler

Citation Violator  

Easy & Secure Payment Process

Self-Managed Online Payments

Requesting Citation Disputes

Request Extension   


Citation Tracking Reports

View Paid Violations Summary

View Summary Reports by Parking Enforcement Officer

Overdue Reports

Issuing Discounts

Approving Payment Plans

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