Wolcott's eighteen police officers now have iPads instead of Toughbook laptops, in a deployment vendors say is the first of its kind in Connecticut.
Replacing seven toughbooks would have cost nearly the same as the $22,000 Wolcott has spent on the 18 iPad Airs, mounts, keyboards, hotspots, and modifications, said Chief Edward Stephens.
"The guys love 'em out in the field," he said, "the convenience of 'em, and what they can do."
He found vendors able to satisfy the FBI's guidelines for remote connections to the federal criminal information system.
"So when they run a plate, when they look for a criminal," said Chris McLoughlin of Hunt Computer Design. "They use that system and this makes them a pilot program for using it on the iPad."
Stephens displayed how the iPads work, saying for example that officers have used translation software twice already.
"If we go into a house and there's a victim of a crime, say, a woman who got assaulted, she might be distraught, upset, and would rather not come down to the station," he said. "What we can do is take a statement right then and there."
The officers can even get signatures remotely, and take and transmit photos. Stephens also expects police to use the iPads to cooperate with firefighters and to check the public schools' surveillance cameras.
Hotspots with 100-yard signals connect cruisers to headquarters, where the information is stored, without reliance on the cell phone system aircards use.
The vendors expect police departments in Redding and Weston, to begin with, to follow Wolcott's lead.