What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Public Safety Updates
As part of the 2009 budget, funds were set aside to make public safety improvements which would provide for more efficient communications for public safety personnel. Recently, this work was completed, and the updated technology is now being used.

An update made to computers in police squad cars has greatly improved the speed with which officers can remotely access information and also granted access to a larger number of database resources. Squad cars have now been equipped with wireless cellular access to replace a radio frequency connection, previously installed in 1995. The improved remote connection now enables officers to draw on a wide range of information regarding a call, from a previous contact to a mug shot. It also enables officers to view the location of a call on a map and then zoom in to view a satellite image of that location.

Also as a result of the improved computer speed, the department was able to install an Automatic Vehicle Location system, or AVL. The AVL allows public safety dispatchers along with other officers on patrol to monitor the position of each patrol vehicle on the road. Dispatchers and officers can view a map of the Village and see police car’s movement in real time.

The AVL builds in added protection for officers in the field. At times when radio communication with an officer is unavailable, a fellow officer can visit the known location to verify the officer’s safety. In addition, the technology offers efficiencies while responding to calls. With the new technology, dispatchers are using a closest call strategy. When a dispatcher receives a call from a person in need, they can now send the officer nearest to that location for a more efficient response.

The improvements assist the department in other ways as well. Reporting functions have also been streamlined. Once a call is generated by a public safety dispatcher and sent to an officer, a file is automatically generated. Once the call is complete, the system allows officers to access the file and attach all necessary documents and images for easy retrieval when needed again.

“Originally, it was our expectation that these improvements would allow us to provide a higher quality response through improved awareness of the situation at hand and through the closest call strategy,” explained Pleasant Prairie Police Chief Brian Wagner. “Now, we're realizing those expectations, and the difference is amazing. Our situational awareness has really improved, and that makes for a much better experience when responding to public safety needs.”

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