Watertown Police Are Now On The GridPosted: Updated:
Watertown police officers are on the map. Literally.
"It's going to give everybody a little bit of piece of mind that we are going to know where you're at, we're going to be able to get someone to you if you need the help," said Watertown Police Chief Charles Donoghue.
This past week, for the first time, the department has been able to join Jefferson County's GPS system. Now dispatchers and fellow officers see where Watertown patrols are in the field at all times at their computers - another layer of safety.
"Look right down, know where your car is and take the appropriate precautions are procedures to help you out here," said Sgt. Dennis Lawlee, Watertown Police Department.
Chief Donoghue says it wasn't that easy though. The county got the GPS system around 2010. Sheriffs and state police have been on it for while. When city police went to tap in, there was an IT connectivity issue.
""I have a feeling this was pretty difficult to get nailed down," said Donoghue. "I believe it turned out to be the city's anti-virus was I guess viewing the system as a threat and they were able to work around that and get it up and running a few days ago."
City lawmakers are looking to give more money to IT in the budget this year to help with similar problems elsewhere.
Now, that it's up and running, Chief Donoghue says it can be used to help determine who goes to what call, but it's also there for those situations where time is of the essence.
"You may just be able to cue the microphone and say, hey, send me help here and that might be it. A system like this with the GPS allows us to know where that officer is or at least where that vehicle is," said Donoghue.
Safety and security - another way to have a fellow officer's back.