Laptop Computers for Cottonwood Police Cruisers

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As apart of a homeland security grant, the city of Cottonwood's police department has just gotten laptop computers for its cruisers.

Before, Cottonwood police officers would have to call in to the Houston County dispatch center if they pulled a driver over. However that's not the case any more, thanks to a new wireless laptop computer in their cars.

"It's nice ahead of time, we can tie a tag number to the person that owns a vehicle, knowing ahead of time, what that person should look like and whether or not their driver's license is valid even before we make a traffic stop," Chief Jim Smith of Cottonwood Police Department.

The new wireless service has been installed in the three Cottonwood patrol cars and also features mapping and eventually a GPS system.

"We'll have the ability to do our reports in the police cars so that'll be immediately available for printing or if we need to send it to another agency," said Chief Smith.

The equipment costs just under $6,000 and officials say its one of the first for a city this size.

Cottonwood Mayor Lomax Smith said, "This will hopefully make the town safer for residents."

Pretty soon, the patrol laptops will have a NCIC system installed into it. The program will allow the city to access drivers’ records nationwide

Chief Smith tells News 4, they’ll still contact Houston County dispatch and tell them where they are and see if a driver has a warrant out for their arrest.