Virtualization of Police Mobile Computers

Officer Using Mobile ComputerPolice mobile computers are going virtual. It's been over six years since the 300+ computers in the Police cruisers have been refreshed. In an environment of diminishing public safety staffing levels, every minute an officer is left waiting for their computer to boot, is a minute that could be spent patrolling the community or responding to calls for service. Unfortunately, the LBPD was experiencing long boot times with these old computers. Multiplied across the entire fleet and multiple shifts, this resulted in a significant productivity loss.

Rather than replacing the existing computers at a total cost exceeding $1.5 million, the City found an innovative, lower cost approach to in-vehicle computing. Technology Services and Police personnel collaborated to build a virtual environment that streamed the desktop utilizing Citrix XenDesktop, with all requisite law enforcement programs and information, to the vehicle across a secured wireless 4G network, approximately 10 times faster than previous connection speeds and with substantially quicker boot up times.

The new virtual environment also eliminates the challenges of updating/pushing security patches and software to these mobile devices. We can now update the "golden image" in one location and when officers log on in the field, they will be presented with a copy of the updated golden image. Gone are the days of touching every device to perform these updates. The Citrix technology coupled with the speed of the 4G modem greatly enhances helpdesk staff's ability to remotely control field officers' desktops and assist with application support.

The virtual mobile computers have been deployed in two of the three Police Patrol divisions and will be implemented in the third division by the end of September 2013.