When it was clear that they needed to replace their existing mobile computing hardware, the Roswell, Georgia Police Department wanted to be certain that the devices they invested in would stand up to the conditions their officers face in the field.
Faced with aging computing hardware, the Roswell, Georgia Police Department was looking for a new vendor to supply them with mobile computers that could stand up to the demands of police work and a service support team that would work directly with their IT department, ensuring a seamless transition and deployment.
Following a rigorous testing regimen, the Roswell Police Department deployed three different TOUGHBOOK models throughout their force, each outfitted for a specific law enforcement role. The Panasonic ProServices team helped build, install and maintain Roswell’s image, providing much needed time and resource savings to the agency’s IT team.
Police officers now have the tools they need to get the job done and the agency’s IT department has more time to focus on other IT projects because of Panasonic’s deployment support. In addition, the police department provided the Panasonic engineering team with valuable feedback on product design for future development so they can continue to innovate the computing devices for work in the field.
“If you’ve ever spent time in Georgia in the summer, you know that it gets hotter than hot,” said Captain Ken McRae, who helped lead the technology search. “We took demo units from a number of vendors and subjected them to some extreme tests to make sure they would work in the most extreme conditions. We left laptops running in the storage trunk of one of our motorcycles for several hours on a hot summer day and the Toughbook passed with flying colors – continuing to work, despite the intense heat.”
In addition to performing in extreme conditions, Roswell had several other criteria they required in a mobile computer – they needed devices that balanced size and weight with functionality, that had reliable, and responsive inputs. But beyond that, they wanted a full-service technology partner that would support them as their needs evolved and as they deployed new devices in the field.
“We decided that the best way was to equip our officers with three TOUGHBOOK models, each scoped for a different purpose,” said McRae. “For our motor units, we selected the TOUGHBOOK 31, which had the large, readable screen our officers were looking for plus the ruggedness needed for the vibration on the motorcycle. We selected the TOUGHBOOK 20 for our crime suppression and narcotics officers because that device’s smaller size and tablet mode made it a more discrete tool. And finally, we chose the semi-rugged TOUGHBOOK 54 for our uniformed officers, administrative and office tasks.”
Once Roswell chose which models they wanted, that was only the beginning of their Panasonic experience. A key component of the Panasonic offering that led to Roswell committing to the TOUGHBOOK computers was the true partnership that Panasonic provides its customers. Not only would Panasonic supply the hardware, the ProServices team helped ensure that it was rolled out to Roswell’s officers with everything they needed in terms of software and accessories – the products arrived field-ready and were equipped to go into service.
For instance, Panasonic set themselves apart from other hardware vendors by being able to ship the devices with all of the software pre-installed and pre-configured. The Panasonic ProServices team worked with Roswell to understand their software needs and helped design a custom image that was preloaded onto every device before they were deployed to Roswell. They provided similar services when helping to outfit vehicles with the right mounting hardware and other accessories. This resulted in Roswell saving limited internal IT resources that would otherwise be used installing and setting up hardware on each of the new devices.
“The engineering services and support that Panasonic provided went above and beyond our expectations and their help in getting us up-and-running was invaluable,” added McRae. “It’s clear that Panasonic truly cares about customer relationships and the deployment of these devices was as smooth as we could have hoped for.”
But the Panasonic team took it one step further, tapping the Roswell Police Department to provide insight into its then unannounced TOUGHBOOK 33, 2-in-1 detachable laptop. Panasonic sent a team of engineers from Japan to Roswell, Georgia to spend time with police officers to gather real-world feedback and evaluations.
“The team from Japan was deeply interested in our feedback and input. They took non-stop notes on things like how the TOUGHBOOK devices sit inside a patrol car, how USB ports are positioned, and how our officers use them day-to-day in the field,” said Captain McRae. “Working with Panasonic has been beautiful and that’s due to the incredible service we’ve received. I don’t know of any other manufacturer that goes to the lengths they do for their customers.”