Dallas Police Test GPS System at State Fair

By Grant Stinchfield
|  Monday, Oct 4, 2010  |  Updated 11:51 PM CDT
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Police officers armed with Blackberries are testing a GPS-based, officer-tracking system.

Grant Stinchfield, NBCDFW.com

Police officers armed with Blackberries are testing a GPS-based, officer-tracking system.

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Police officers armed with Blackberries are testing an officer-tracking system.

The department has long been able to track its vehicles, but it had no way to track officers on foot -- until now.

"You have the ability to -- within seconds -- see where your people are in respect to the incident you're dealing with," Sgt. Eric Garrett said.

The "Comet" system allows supervisors inside the command post to pull up a large screen and see where every officer with a GPS-equipped Blackberry is currently located.

"The goal is to pull the closest officers to the emergency to get the fastest response time," Garrett said.

Dallas police are experimenting with the system at this year's state fair to see if they want to use it during the Super Bowl.

Garrett said he believes the system represents the future of policing.

But with Dallas facing a budget crisis, there is no guarantee the city will be willing to pay the roughly $3,000 per month it takes to operate the 130 smart phones equipped with the "Comet" system it has now.

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