Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Businessweek Archives

Laptop 54, Where Are You?


Up Front: THE LONG ARM

LAPTOP 54, WHERE ARE YOU?

PICTURE JIMMY CAGNEY yelling: "You'll have to download me, copper." This summer, Washington is giving up to $150 million to 100 police departments so they can buy state-of-the-art computers. The aim is to improve efficiency and give cops fresh, timely info. Detectives at a crime scene can call up mug shots on a flat-panel display. Then, using a portable printer, they can produce a victim's statement for signature. In San Diego, squad car computers let the officers tap into police and FBI data in minutes. Says Buffalo Police Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske: "These are great tools."

Not everyone is gung-ho. Tinkering with computer operations in the field could distract officers, says Hubert Williams, ex-head of the Newark (N.J.) force and president of the Police Foundation, a nonprofit research group. Upshot: They'll be less vigilant and more vulnerable.

Since laptop cops are a Clintonite notion, the GOP may put the money into block grants, leaving local forces to spend it as they wish. Democrats say this was tried in the '70s, when the no-strings bucks went into fancy weapons that sat unused.

ANSWERS: 1.T 2.F 3.T 4.T Douglas Harbrecht.


LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus