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Chat with a Cop

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cop Car Question

Can a cop take a picture and scan it onto his phone and send it out to squad cars to see on their vehicle scanners or whatever that might be called? For instance if a child were missing and the police had a photo handed to him, how would he get the photo transferred to the squad cars so they could be on the look-out for the child?


The computer device inside patrol cars is called a Mobile Data Terminal (Cops refer to them as MDTs). Right now, a lot of Departments are transitioning to MCTs (Mobile Communication Terminals). In the MCTs, because the operative word is Communication, officers can access their email through the Terminal. (FYI: Departments can choose to allow their officers to have this access or prevent it.)

So if an officer takes a photo of the photo and emails himself a copy, he could then upload the information, with WC (Watch Commander) approval, to all units.

Of course, depending on the camera and the degradation of the image, it might be better to drive to the station or sub-station and scan in the photo on an actual scanner.

FYI San Diego Police Department has MCTs.

One question, what is the age of your missing child? Age plays an important role in the amount of action the PD will take. I believe the critical age is fourteen. Fourteen and over, Police will want to know if the child is or has run away. Under fourteen, it's treated as a critical missing persons.

Hope that helps


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