Police get hi-tech rides

The Gauteng provincial government has donated 42 cars, worth more than R7 million, to the SA Police Service (SAPS).
The cars are all equipped with terrestrial trunked (Tetra) radios, which provide seamless connectivity to mobile phones and landlines, ITWeb reports.
Gauteng premier Paul Mashatile said the investment was made to enhance the response time to crime – currently, the average response time in Johannesburg is 30 to 40 minutes.
In his address to the media, at the 10111 centre in Midrand, Mashatile said the cars were fitted with hi-tech equipment by GFleet and Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement. This would help the Gauteng aggravated robbery teams to respond to incidents detected by the 16 CCTV cameras located around Johannesburg, among other means, he explained.
“We have made significant investments in our ICT infrastructure to ensure our surveillance system is ubiquitous in the province.”
Instrumentation technical manager Sean Rooney says the Tetra radios will allow the police to receive calls from cellphones, landlines and conventional radios. Instrumentation supplies emergency warning equipment and traffic management systems to law enforcement agencies around the African continent.
Rooney says Tetra technology is already in use in Europe and North America, and was developed as a result of the 9/11 attacks when the firemen trapped inside the fallen buildings could not be reached by shortwave radios.
“There are certain places where people cannot be reached, such as basements and rural areas out of range, and it is in these areas where Tetra radios will come in handy for the police,” says Rooney.
The radios work on several platforms, including wireless and IP-based networks, as well as landlines, says Rooney. He adds that, since the radios work on wireless networks, they will also allow police officers to send pictures of crime scenes via text messaging to other officers.
“GFleet and the SAPS have gone out of their way to embrace new technologies and these Tetra radios are a sign of that progress.”