Baltimore's police department is to receive $1.3 million in municipal funds to improve the communications system used to dispatch officers to emergency calls.
The money was approved yesterday by the Board of Estimates.
Deputy Police Commissioner Harwood W. Burritt told the board that the money will be used to upgrade the system, under which computer terminals will eventually be installed in police cruisers. He said the terminals will instantly provide officers with information on emergency calls.
Under the current system, a 911 operator logs in information received from a caller and the computer system automatically selects the nearest patrol car that is in service to handle the call. It also shows if there is a history of calls from the same address and the nature of those calls. The dispatcher then relays that information over police radio to the officer.
Once computer terminals are installed in patrol cars, all of the information will show up instantly on the terminal screen. Burritt said the department is now experimenting with the terminals in a few cars.