Police department goes digital<BR><BR>

To make it easier to access photos of criminal suspects or missing children, the Kingman Police Department has upgraded its computer software for digital cameras.

Officers once used Polaroid cameras to take booking photos of suspects or pictures of crime scenes and kept hard copies of the photos in files, KPD Lt.

Ray Sipe said.

Officers and detectives can now take digital photos suspects and download them into the computer system.

A photograph of a missing person also can be scanned into the department's computer system so any officer can see the photo on a laptop computer in a patrol vehicle.

Crime scene photos can be seen by any officer anywhere, anytime on a computer.

"It'll save a tremendous amount of time," Sipe said.

Officers can search the database using parameters such as the color of someone's eyes or hair, or someone's height, Sipe said.

The software upgrade was included in this year's city budget and costs $30,000.

The upgrade should be completed in a few days.

The KPD is installing laptop computers in cars, which would be linked to the main computer at the department.

The installation should be completed this summer.

The department recently equipped some patrol vehicles with video cameras, which will better serve prosecution of, and act as a deterrent to, drunken drivers.