How does information technology help prevent crime and assist in keeping the Tulane campus safe?
Technology Services works closely with the Tulane University Police Department (TUPD) to keep them on the cutting edge in the use of investigative tools, body cameras, surveillance and dispatch systems. The past year has been especially transformative in introducing new technology to TUPD.
Newly implemented mobile technology allows officers to maintain their presence and visibility on campus where they are most needed. Each officer in the field has access to new Surface Pro tablets (referred to as Mobile Units), allowing them to be more mobile. In the past, officers submitted their calls via radio to dispatchers, necessitating that a dispatcher be on the other end of that call. Mobile units save officers time by allowing them to submit information directly to an online system. The mobile units allow officers to run license plates and background checks and connect to the National Crime Information Database while out in the field rather than requiring them to go into the central office or wait for another officer at central to retrieve that information. Officers can also submit reports while out in the field rather than having to return to desktop computers at headquarters.
The mobile units also provide GPS location data, so at any given time dispatchers know the location of all officers. This provides an added measure of safety should officers become incapacitated while out in the field.
Body cameras were adopted in mid 2015. Footage from these cameras provides an accurate depiction of the interaction between an officer and the public. Having this footage removes some of the “he said/she said” aspect of reporting and provides an additional layer of information for any incident.
Upgraded video system and
expanded number of call boxes
An upgraded video system provides surveillance for Uptown, Downtown and Primate Center campuses and is used extensively to gather information when investigating an incident. The video system is also tied into the emergency call boxes visible around campus. Technology Services Camera Specialist Antoine Young is overseeing a significant expansion to the surveillance camera and call box system.
New digital dispatch system
The digital dispatch system communicates over the internet resulting in better interconnectivity between TUPD and other law enforcement agencies. Analog radio systems are limited in range – this new digital system allows TUPD to be plugged in to a wider range of law enforcement entities.
New reporting systemTUPD Superintendent Jon Barnwell displays one of the mobile units in use by the Tulane University Police Department
Newly deployed software integrates reporting for the mobile units, dispatch and police reporting into one system. Police reporting and statistical reporting is less cumbersome and time-consuming, making crime analysis information easier to retrieve.
Technology enhances safety
TUPD technology is on par with that of local and state law enforcement, and having compatible systems allows better communication across the board. “Better reporting, increased mobility, and enhanced video monitoring are three ways technology enhances safety for Tulane affiliates,“ says Chief Technology Officer Charlie McMahon.
For more info on TUPD see http://tulane.edu/police/
Photos: top to bottom:
Mobile units allow TUPD safety officers like Caleb Smith and Lawrence Garrison to submit reports from the field, allowing them to be mobile more of the time
Senior Support Analyst Chris Wood and Sergeant Roger Barnes observe TUPD technology in use with Sergeant Olive Daw in the dispatch center. Chris is one of two Technology Services employees dedicated to TUPD technical training and software support.
TUPD Superintendent Jon Barnwell displays one of the mobile units in use by TUPD.
(Photos: Sheldon Jones)
To read more about what's new with Technology Services see the TechWave newsletter at http://tulane.edu/tsweb/techwave/