Laptop Computers Expose Criminals
LAPTOP COMPUTERS EXPOSE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
On October 12,
2004, Sheriff's Deputies' responded to a report of a crash at County Line Road
and Morgantown Road. Upon his arrival, Deputy Andy Gordon found a
multi-car chain collision crash involving five vehicles. Deputy Bryan
Wolfe arrived to assist with traffic control. While just finishing up this
crash, Deputy Gordon heard tires skidding on Morgantown Road and watched as a
driver who had locked up her brakes skidded off into a row of trees.
That driver, who was not injured, showed signs of being an intoxicated driver.
Deputy Gordon obtained her name and date of birth verbally because she told him
that she did not have her drivers' license with her. The Sheriff's
dispatchers were unable to obtain a return from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles
with the information as it was given. Deputy Gordon suspected that the
woman was giving false information. Unfortunately for her, Deputy Wolfe's
car is equipped with one of the test laptop computers that will be installed
countywide beginning October 18th, 2004. Deputy Wolfe typed in the name
given by the suspect and within seconds, was given three similar names; One of
which was labeled as an "alcohol user." Once that name was selected, a
list of prior involvements was obtained complete with a color picture and a
description of a tattoo on the suspects ankle. With that information,
positive identification was made simple. The suspect had used her middle
name instead of her first name. When asked about the tattoo on her ankle
and when she realized that we were looking at her picture on the computer, she
quickly explained that she had lied to avoid being charged with Driving While
Suspended, "because my license is suspended," the woman admitted.
Beginning the week of October 18, 2004, the Fleet Management Division of Johnson
County will begin installing the laptop computer network in the vehicles of all
Sheriff's Deputies', followed close behind by other agencies. The laptop
computers allow for quick transfer of wireless information from car to car and
from the station to the car. Sheriff's Deputies will be able to access
information about people, vehicles, property, and research prior criminal
involvements of events which have occurred in Johnson County in recent years.
These computers will provide a wealth of information at the fingertips of
Sheriff's Deputies which will make the job safer by allowing Deputies to check
for known threats before they approach a residence or person. In another
example, Deputy Wolfe recently stopped a vehicle whose occupants were acting
suspiciously near the site of a suspected theft of Anhydrous Ammonia.
There were tanks visible in the back of the vehicle. A records check via
the laptop computer showed that the passenger in the truck had a history of
local theft and drug charges. In fact, the laptop computer allowed Deputy
Wolfe to pull up and read a prior arrest report that informed him that the man
in the truck he had stopped likes to hide marijuana inside his socks.
Deputy Kerry Hamilton and canine partner Robbie arrived and Robbie indicated the
presence of drugs on the passengers side floorboard where the mans feet had just
been. This intelligence that will now be available to the officer on the
street instantly will be invaluable and will result in more effective law
enforcement. Look for more information coming soon on the laptop computer