Upgrades for Madera County Sheriff's Fleet of Patrol cars

MADERA COUNTY, Calif.

Lt. Mike Salvador said, "The job is inherently dangerous so safety-wise good tactics and good information always enhances safety."

At his fingertips Lt. Salvador can access a good chunk of information in real time. These cars are part of a new fleet outfitted with the latest technology. Deputies are calling the upgrade, "Version 3.0" "This is the first time we have ever had removable computers like this. It is a tablet based computer but it is a full laptop computer. I like to liken it to an iPad on steroids," said Lt. Salvador.

The eight new cards have other high-tech add-ons. A regular-looking rear view mirror doubles up as a recorder. Deputies in Madera can now also talk to other agencies on more frequencies.

The Madera County Sheriff's Office says the overhaul took about half a million dollars. Sheriff John Anderson says despite the steep price tag, the agency made the upgrades using money already in the budget. "We drove our old cars for two and three years longer and we didn't really buy any news vehicles all last year or the year before," said Sheriff Anderson.

Now deputies can file reports from the field and submit them without having to head back to headquarters.

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