Georgia Department of Natural Resources law enforcement rangers are testing a computer-assisted communications and data system with a built-in GPS locator in a pilot program that ties the DNR into the Georgia State Patrol's network.
Three DNR Game Management officers and two park rangers who face similar situations are in the pilot program, which began March 29, according to the Florida Times-Union. They have been issued rugged, military-grade laptop computers that can be mounted in their patrol vehicles and boats. The system allows them 24-hour communications with state patrol dispatchers. It also gives them direct access from the field to the Georgia Crime Information System and the DNR license data base.
Until now, the report says, rangers haven't been able to directly or immediately access the statewide crime data base from the field. GCIC allows officers to check individuals for outstanding warrants, and license tags to determine if a vehicle or boat has been reported stolen.
The pilot program is being funded by a federal boating safety grant. Each laptop costs about $3,000 because it is built to withstand saltwater and other harsh conditions. To keep expenses down, the DNR is piggy-backing on the state patrol's computer network, sharing its server and using its software.