Texas College Police Unit Deploys BIO-key Mobile Data System
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Collin College, a community college district in the Dallas, TX area, will be deploying MobileCop, BIO-key International's wireless query and messaging solution for law enforcement. The new technology will enable campus police to obtain information--while at a traffic stop or other incident--on a person or vehicle directly from the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (TLETS) using laptops in their patrol cars.
Officers in the Collin College Police Department are licensed peace officers with county-wide jurisdiction and work under the same authority as local law enforcement agencies. "Campus law enforcement faces the same challenges that any police department does," said Captain Michael Gromatzky. "With more than 44,000 students spread across five open campuses with day, night, and weekend classes, we're like a small city."
Gromatzky said the primary benefit of MobileCop is that officers will be able to access the information they need to make decisions without having to call a dispatcher over the radio to run a plate or check an ID. "Previously, if the radio was tied up, the officer was tied up too," he said.
The system also offers a level of confidentiality not available when staff communicates via radio. "We value student privacy very highly," said Gromatzky. "Confidential data on a student broadcast over the radio can be overheard or even picked up by a scanner. Using MobileCop's silent, secure messaging feature, a dispatcher can send critical information on a student involved in an incident, for example, to the responding officer without that risk."
MobileCop is used by campus police at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, the University of Maryland in College Park, and Indiana University in Bloomington.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.