San José Police Patrol Cars Replacing Faulty Computer System That Crashed When Officer Was Killed On Duty

CBS 5 KPIX April 28, 2015

SAN JOSE (KCBS)— For years now San José police officers have had to rely on an outdated laptop computer system in their patrol cars, but they won’t have to put up with them much longer, thanks to a $1.6 million grant that the department received from the state.

The money will go towards buying a new mobile data system that will be installed in every patrol car. The current system, prone to crashing, was bought in 2004.

The system crashed last month on the night San José Police Officer Michael Johnson was shot and killed, but that wasn’t the first time it happened.

“Every officer on the street has probably experienced this once— if not multiple times as they’ve been out working patrol. There’s a lot of spots out there where it goes dark and you lose the service. It’s something that officers are very aware of and they’re eager to see change,” said San José City Councilman Raul Peralez.

He said he knows of the problem first hand. Up until he was elected to the council at the start of the year, he was a San Jose Policé officer.

“The worst would be when you lose transmission services or the cell service. What that does is render the computer a box. You can’t communicate with the dispatch center as far as getting information on events, suspects, houses or cars or whatever it might be. You can’t communicate with other officers,” said Peralez.

The department is hoping to have the upgraded computer system installed in all patrol cars by the end of the year.