Town’s vehicles tracked through computer program
by James Phillips
Jun 03, 2012 | 1503 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Parrish Police Chief Nick Smith monitors the town’s patrol cars via a new computer program. The technology can track patrol cars and other city vehicles at all times. Photo by: James Phillips
Parrish Police Chief Nick Smith monitors the town’s patrol cars via a new computer program. The technology can track patrol cars and other city vehicles at all times. Photo by: James Phillips
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PARRISH — With the recent installation of a new computer program, the Town of Parrish now has the ability to track all its municipal vehicles.

Parrish Police Chief Nick Smith said the program allows him to keep up with the location of each of the town’s patrol cars at all times.

“The biggest positive about that is officer safety,” Smith said. “If something happens and we lose communication, we’ll know exactly where the officers are at.”

Sharon Criswell, the town’s lead dispatcher, said the tracking technology gives her peace of mind.

“I know where my officers are at all times,” she said. “If they need help, I can get someone there quickly.”

Smith said the program uses real-time GPS to track each vehicle. On a computer screen, the program shows red car symbols for each parked car. When a car is put into drive, it turns to green on the screen. Smith said a vehicle in motion is also observed for breaking the law, such as speeding or aggressive driving.

“If the driver of the vehicle does something against the law, it will be reported in the computer program,” Smith said. “It can keep up with the exact speed someone is driving.”

The program has been installed in all town vehicles, and the software and installation were free, Smith said.

“We have to pay a monthly payment, and that is all,” he said.

The current monthly payment for the technology is $29.99 per vehicle, Smith said. The town has only had the program online for a little more than a week, but Smith said he thinks the technology is a big positive for Parrish.

“I think this program will help employees to be more cautious and take better care of the vehicles,” Smith said.

The service can be dropped at any time, Smith added.

“We can get rid of it if it’s not needed, but I have seen a lot of good from it already,” he said. “It’s just another thing that improves our technology. I believe us and Jasper are the only areas to have anything like this in Walker County.”