Photo courtesy of Data911

Photo courtesy of Data911

New mobile data centers (MDCs) for its emergency response vehicles have allowed the City of Oceanside, Calif., to match computer lifecycle to police vehicles’ six-year lifecycles. The Data911 MDCs are now installed in 65 police vehicles and 25 fire department vehicles.

The city previously used rugged laptops that frequently failed, or had short lifespans that resulted in replacement and repair costs. A downed system also inhibits first responders’ ability to respond to emergencies. The city began searching for a more reliable system, with IT, fleet, and the Police and Fire departments working together to test various computer types before installing the Data 911 MDCs in 2005.

Ten years after initial purchase, city employees explained why they chose the system and why they’re still using it.

Fleet’s main concern was the previous system only lasted four years, which was shorter than patrol vehicle life cycle. Jeff Hart, Oceanside's fleet supervisor & manager, said that the new MDCs get at least five to seven years, which is the life span of the patrol vehicles.

The Information Technology department, which ensures all network, computers, and technology is up and running, commented on the reliability of the systems and the ease of swapping out components if needed. Officers like the MDC’s ease of use and lack of complicated controls, while the Fire Department likes the ability to upgrade older units to faster processors without having to buy new equipment.

Data911’s mobile data computers are warrantied for 10 years.