Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, located in northern California, serves a large portion of the Bay Area, spanning from Berkley, down to Freemont and as far east as Livermore. The department has 1,500 authorized positions, including more than 1,000 sworn personnel.
The agency patrols the majority of the county by both motorcycle and patrol car. Before using Panasonic tablets, officers assigned to the motor unit were using paper and pen processes to capture information while responding to incidents on the road.
Patrollers had to run IDs through radio, or they would have to take a citizen’s word at the scene due to not being able to reference information from their database. After struggling with the inefficient process, the department decided to invest in a mobile solution.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office needed a rugged mobile computer that provided reliable access to the department databases in the field and could withstand daily wear and tear of the job from out at sea with the marine unit to bumpy rides of motor patrol.
After using pen and paper systems, then struggling with computer failures from another manufacturer, Alameda deployed a combination of 250 rugged Toughbook 31 laptops and FZ-G1 tablets across the patrol car, motorcycle and marine units.
The rugged Toughbook laptops and tablets reduced failures, saving valuable time and IT resources, while providing reliable connectivity to officers out in the field.
Before switching to Panasonic, the department used a vendor mounted laptop in the trunk of the patrol car. Officers frequently faced issues with the computers overheating and shutting down, especially in the summertime. The department quickly realized they needed to invest in a purpose-built mobile solution that would reliably perform in the environments they encountered while enhancing daily tasks on the job.
The motorcycle patrol unit now uses fully rugged FZ-G1 tablets and the patrol cars are equipped with Toughbook 31 laptops for photo identification, searching for IDs and writing reports. The lightweight form factor and MIL-SPEC certified design of the FZ-G1 allows officers on motorcycles to easily store the tablet in their satchel while on the road without having to worry about damage from bumpy rides or drops on the pavement.
Officers in patrol cars have their Toughbook 31 laptops mounted in their vehicle and they now have the capability of swiveling the screen to easily read or share information. With the Toughbook tablets and computers, officers can access more information out in the field without having to rely on radio communication.
The Alameda County marine patrol unit counts on rugged Panasonic Toughbook 31 laptops for reliable communication at sea. The marine unit conducts daily patrols to check critical infrastructure and monitor for any possible terrorist targets. They also routinely conduct harbor and navigation code enforcement with recreational boaters.
Officials have relied on Toughbook laptops for six years to communicate out on the water. Out at sea the rugged durability of the device is critical. “The environment out here can get pretty nasty pretty quick,” said Sergeant Robert Brandt. “If this were a standard computer I don’t think it would make it past a couple of days.”
The fully rugged Toughbook 31 is built to meet MIL-STD-810G and IP65 certifications along with a six-foot drop rating to ensure reliable performance in any condition officers may encounter from spraying sea water to bumps and drops on deck.
One of the key benefits the department saw by investing in rugged Panasonic computers was the reduced failure rates, ultimately saving valuable IT time and resources, lowering their total cost of ownership.
“The failure rate is like night and day,” said Information Systems Specialist Jason Hairston, when referring to the difference between the Toughbook laptops and the previous vendor Alameda County was using. “We have hardly any issues with the Toughbook. Now our downtime is less than 15 minutes.”
Watch Alameda County in action to see why they count on Panasonic in Toughbook Territory.
Officers reported that their tablets have taken drops and bumps and they have never experienced a problem thanks to the fully rugged design of the FZ-G1 and Toughbook 31.
Whether it be excessive heat, cold temperatures or rain, Deputy Sheriff David Cochran said, “In and out of the car it gets introduced to a lot of different things and I have never seen one fail.”