December 1, 2009
Copyright © 2009
Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.
Ulster County tracks its vehicles with GPS system
KINGSTON - Outside Ulster County’s Transit Headquarters Monday sat a parked county K-9 police cruiser and an orange plow truck. Both vehicles were visible from a conference room, looking out a window and on a screen facing the wall.
The vehicles are equipped with an Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL), and Ulster County Executive Michael Hein announced in the conference room that the county’s fleet of 467 vehicles will be equipped with the GPS-based AVL devices by next spring.
“We will make sure there’s an AVL in all county vehicles,” he said.
All of the county’s patrol cars, 42 units including the K-9 parked outside, are equipped with the AVL devices, which are provided by Trackstar.
A demonstration from an overhead projector showed different computer screens of how every police cruiser in the county, from the various local departments, was either on duty or parked. And this technology has been used by law enforcement agencies in the Ulster County since the beginning of this decade.
But now it’s the support vehicles and others in the county’s fleet, such as the plow trucks, that are getting equipped for better fleet management capabilities.
As winter starts to soon strengthen its grip, Hein said the AVL devices will help know the whereabouts all trucks when sharing services with towns.
“This gives us an opportunity to greatly expand that interaction and make sure we dovetail perfectly with towns,” he said.
“No taxpayer will ever have to watch a plow drive over an unplowed road with the plow up simply because it wasn’t their road.”
By being able to more properly design routes, less fuel will be consumed. And by properly managing a vehicle, they can ensure a vehicle is not idling and reduce the county’s carbon footprint, ”said Hein.
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