The Dallas Police Department this week began installing new software in its patrol cars that puts suspects’ criminal histories at officers’ fingertips. The program, VisiNet Mobile Software, includes a database wherein police can find prior convictions, mug shots and other data. “It’s great for the officers in the field because you can get a really quick check on the individual and what they’ve been convicted of,” says Deputy Chief Rick Watson of the Southwest Patrol division. That eliminates the need for communication with dispatch regarding rap sheets.

Watson said it’s expected to take about seven months for all the department’s officers to complete an eight-hour training course for the software, and for technicians to install it in cop cars.

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