Representatives of the Texas Transportation Institute and the U.S. Department of Transportation next week will receive Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review Hammer Award in recognition of a research effort designed to revolutionize law enforcement. The Hammer Award is the vice president’s program to recognize significant contributions in support of President Clinton’s National Performance Review principles. The award recognizes advancements by teams helping to reinvent government.
ALERT integrates all functions of a police car into a single computer system. With ALERT, officers spend far less time with paperwork. Reports that required hours to complete in the past can now be finished in minutes. Traffic crash reports that once took months to become part of state computer records now can be entered into those databases in a matter of hours.
The project is a natural choice for the Hammer Award, according to Mike Russell, spokesman for the National Performance Review task force. “ALERT is a major contribution to better law enforcement and traffic safety, and a good common sense example of how governments can use the latest in information technology to improve service to the public,” he said.
The ALERT car will be on display in Baltimore on Nov. 3, the day of the award presentation.
TTI, a member of the Texas A&M University System, is the largest university-based transportation research agency in the U.S. Patented TTI innovations have been credited with saving lives, time and money for motorists throughout the nation.
ALERT — Advanced Law Enforcement & Response Technology ™ — involves the development of a computer-based system in police cars that is designed to enhance officer safety, improve the accuracy of traffic and accident records and help officers clear emergency scenes more quickly. The TTI project is funded by the U.S. DOT and is supported by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. ALERT cars are being tested locally by the College Station Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety. In addition, more than 30 industry suppliers and manufacturers are partners in ALERT’s development.