The Covington Police Department is getting even more high tech and started preparing for the future Monday night.
The Covington City Council approved the purchase of Rockets, trackers and Tasers by the CPD using funds from drug forfeitures.
The CPD replaced 26 Tasers that Chief Stacey Cotton said were getting “toward the end of their life.” The city council approved the purchase of 35 new Tasers, along with battery packs and cartridges for 41,571.95 from Taser International. Along with the Tasers, the council also approved the purchase of 35 holsters for $1,188.25 from DCG Tactical Supply.
Cotton said the replaced Tasers will be given to other agencies.
Along with the Tasers, the CPD also upgraded its ability to store and transfer data with new Rockets and Trackers for $76,558, also from forfeited funds. The Rockets, are not part of a military equipment allocation program, but is shorthand for the Rocket 5GHz Quadband antenna and software.
The new equipment works with the CPD’s present Verizon hotspots and boosts the signals coming out of the patrol cars. Cotton said all patrol cars with laptops will get the Rocket technology, while the others will have trackers.
Among the features of the Rockets, the software will automatically upload video and images from the patrol car into the
CPD servers when the officers arrive back at the station, rather than manually downloading the information. The Rockets also includes GPS tracking.
“It’s a great piece of equipment,” Cotton said to the council during Monday’s work session. “We’ve been testing it for two months, and we’re yet to have a signal loss. Compared to the other (equipment, transferring data) is moving at the speed of light.”
The Rocket technology’s ability to work with larger amount of data, also sets CPD up for future additions, Cotton said.
“One of the things we want to do is E-ticket,” Cotton told the council. “Technology hasn’t allowed us to transfer the amount of data we would need to push. This allows us to do that in the future.
“The company is also developing a body camera. “
The CPD will now also be able to keep accountable with when they patrol neighborhoods. The tracker software will allow for a digital “fence” to be set up around a neighborhood, and every time a patrol vehicle enters the neighborhood it will be documented.
“If we get a complaint we’ll be able to set up fenced-area and show them when we were there,” Cotton said.
The Rocket antenna, mountings and cable cost $45,410 and the installation is $10,450 for 38 vehicles from the Tucker Utility company.