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Natchez patrol cars getting laptops

NATCHEZ — Eighteen Natchez police patrol cars will soon be equipped with laptops at no cost to the city.

Information Technology Director Eric Junkin demonstrated the use of remote desktop software that will be used in the patrol cars Tuesday at the Natchez aldermen meeting.

The remote desktop software will allow patrol officers to log on to a desktop computer at the Natchez Police Department and access files there.

The small laptops, which will be permanently mounted in the cars, will allow the officers to fill out reports and citations and save them to a server at the police department.

The laptops, which are estimated to cost $1,500 to $1,800 per car after complete installation, will not cost the city anything, Mayor Butch Brown said. A private donor, Brown said, has agreed to pick up the cost, approximately $27,000 to $32,400.

Brown said he approached the individual and explained the benefits of having the laptops in the patrol cars, and the donor agreed to donate the funds for the laptops.

Brown said he was disappointed to find when he returned to office this year that patrol cars no longer had laptops. He said Natchez was the first city in Mississippi to have laptops in patrols cars, and the technology is now greatly needed in the city.

“We need that kind of technology that streamlines report writing and giving tickets,” he sad.

Junkin said he is currently testing out the software and should have a final proposal ready for the aldermen at their next meeting on Sept. 25.

Natchez Police Chief Danny White could not be reached for comment.