The Cleveland Police Department is adding 65 new police cars, and with them, new technology.
The funding comes from a portion of the city’s $20 million budget to upgrade Cleveland’s emergency response fleet.
Police Chief Calvin Williams said his police department plans to add “silent dispatching” to the computers inside the patrol units by the end of 2017.
“Computer-aided dispatch is something we’ve done for years, to log everything electronically,” said Chief Williams.
The silent dispatching technology is supposed to help with response times and prioritizing police assignments. He said the silent dispatching works like text messaging, allowing the dispatcher to assign low-priority cases electronically.
"Even if an officer wants to ask a dispatcher for a location of an assignment or how to get some place, they do that verbally by picking up the microphone,” he said, “Silent dispatching frees up the air for more important things to be talked about on the air."
Mayor Frank Jackson called the new technology a great investment. He said on top of the 65 units, another 30 are being ordered. All of the police districts are set to get the new cars at the same time.
The new vehicles include district cars, front line vehicles, unmarked vehicles, and sedans for the new NICE (Neighborhood Impact Community Engagement) unit.
Chief Williams said each of the new cars have about $9,000 worth of technology.
Jackson added that 90 percent of Cleveland’s police vehicles will now be in fair, good condition or brand new condition.
According to Mayor Jackson, the extra cars will also accommodate additional police officers that have been hired.
Cleveland Director of Public Works Michael Cox says the city also plans to purchase new fire trucks, snow equipment, dump trucks, street sweepers and ambulances. This is all part of the $20 million allotted to upgrade the city's emergency response fleet.