LOS ANGELES (CBS) — There’s a new sheriff’s patrol car in town — and it has technology straight from the streets of Baghdad.

Beginning this month, Los Angeles County sheriff’s patrol cars will be outfitted with computer systems used in Iraq that will enable deputies to respond to calls faster and get data on suspects instantly, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

One of the nation’s most prominent military contractors, Raytheon Co., has been awarded a $20 million contract to provide deputies with the ability to run a background check using a searchable FBI database, pull up a suspect’s mug shots and fingerprint data — all in a single traffic stop.

Daniel J. Crowley, president of Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems, noted that soldiers in Iraq face many of the same challenges trying to navigate and communicate while on the streets of Baghdad.

“The military’s situation overseas may be much different from the sheriff’s department, but the need is basically the same,” Crowley said. “Our goal is to give them capabilities at an affordable cost.”

The company can integrate the system at a relatively low cost, because the technology is battle-tested, Crowley said. The deal with the sheriff’s department is one of many that Raytheon has in the works for the public safety sector, seen by analysts as a steady stream of revenue.

Raytheon, based in Waltham, Mass., has been providing state-of-the-art electronics and integrating complex communications systems for the military for decades.

Much of the technology was developed and fine-tuned by the company’s 12,000 employees in Southern California, including at its 1.7-million-square-foot electronics enclave in El Segundo and facilities in Fullerton.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (4)
  1. Robert S. says:

    This is a great new weapon against crime in L.A.! Book um Dano!

  2. alan Hart says:

    LA County is broke and can not even fix the roads BUT we can afford 20,000,000 in new toys for the sheriff’s patrol cars. Somehow I think our priorities are a little off base here.

    1. swhitS says:

      Yep and all it does is police Americans.

    2. Smokey says:

      The current computer system in the LA County Sheriff patrol cars was designed in 1984 and installed in 1989. Parts cannot be located to repair them, with the increase in the size of the Departemtn, there are not enough of the old terminals to go around, and they break down constantly being almost 23 years old.

      How many of you are using a 23 year old computer????

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