Dell Ruggedized “mobile offices” improve Public Safety


SummarySunnyvale located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, was incorporated in 1912. It is among a handful of U.S. cities with a Public Safety department that has all its personnel trained as police officers, firefighters and EMTs. This enables them to respond to emergencies in any of those roles while patrolling the city’s 24 square miles that border the south end of San Francisco Bay.  They managed to boost community coverage by almost 2,000 hours a year with enhanced mobility using ruggedized notebooks which drastically reduced equipment downtime.

Sunnyvale_Police_Dell_rugged _notebooks_indianbureaucracyPolice Department’s Need: To maximise  time on patrol while boosting their efficiency and productivity, they needed devices that had (1) Faster processors and more memory to run their many applications (2) Solid state drives to replace spinning drives that always seemed to be failing (3) Larger touch screens that could be viewed outdoors in bright sunlight, a backlit keyboard for better visibility indoors and at night; and (4) High-speed 4G cellular communications.

Solution: Sunnyvale deployed Dell’s military grade, ruggedized notebooks that can operate 24x7x365 in mission critical situations despite the heat and vibration of patrol cars. 

What is a Dell ruggedized note book? The notebook has been developed to meet MIL-STD-810, a rigorous standard designed to test a product against a variety of damaging experiences, like extreme vibration and water to shock and fungus.  MIL-STD-810 is a United States Military Standard that tests equipment against the conditions that it will experience throughout its service life. Although prepared specifically for military applications, the standard is often used for commercial products as well. MIL-STD-810 is maintained by a Tri-Service partnership that includes the USAF, the US Army, and the US Navy.

How has it helped the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety? Community has gained almost 2,000 more patrol hours each year, the Latitude E6420 XFR notebooks have helped Sunnyvale’s public safety officers be much more productive and efficient.

Word from the ClientJeff Hunter, Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Captain, City of Sunnyvale, California

“We definitely have the potential to solve crimes faster by staging virtual suspect lineups using the Dell Latitude E6420 XFR notebooks,”

“By not having to come back to headquarters to check email three times a day,” he says, “they can stay on their beat and be seen much more.” The solid-state hard drives have held up better in the sun’s Dell Latitude E6420 XFR_water_resistant_indianbureaucracyextreme heat, and the backlit keyboard is much easier to see than the keys on their previous notebooks. “And if we spill anything on those keypads, we simply wash it off under a faucet,” he says with a laugh. As for the touch screen, he says, “Its viewability is really good, and its touch capability works great, much better than our previous notebooks, so much so that our officers actually rely on them now. The touch screens on the old notebooks were so unreliable, no one used them.”

Hunter explains that officers can access images of suspects pulled from various criminal databases to show witnesses at a crime scene, when their memories are fresh.he says. Hunter chose Dell ProSupport to ensure the availability of the Dell ruggedized notebooks if problems arise. “The response to any technical problems we might have from Dell is fantastic,” he says. “Our previous supplier would take three to four days to fix a notebook, but we have it back inside 24 hours from Dell. We chose Dell because we thought they’d stand by their products, and they have.”

Officers use the notebooks for a wide variety of functions, including computer aided dispatch; email; suspect photo lineups; GPS mapping; automated license plate reading; non-injury collision reporting; fire-related records management; and access to county, state and national criminal databases. All the applications work much faster, thanks to Intel’s fast processor.

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