23.00.170                   MOBILE DATA COMPUTERS              (CALEA 41.3.7)


Principle: The Bellevue Police Department’s patrol vehicles have been equipped with Mobile Data Computers (MDC’s) that allow for transmission of electronic messages both computer to computer, multi-computer, and between computer and NORCOM’s Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD).


The MDC’s have been placed in the vehicles to enhance the efficiency of the officers on duty. They are intended for police operations and not as a personal communication tool. Users of the MDC shall be ACCESS certified and follow the rules and guidelines as set forth in this Standard.




User Agency Access Policy: NORCOM is the owner of the CAD and MDC systems and thereby has primary responsibility for maintaining the integrity of those systems.


While NORCOM does not have the authority or the desire to dictate user agency policy or suggest disciplinary action, NORCOM does reserve the right to restrict or deny system access should professional standards not be met by a user agency.


No employee shall knowingly make use of or access any computer equipment to which he/she is not authorized.


Should the individual actions of a User necessitate potential limitations or denial of usage of the system, the severity of the violation(s) will determine whether a warning is issued to the User Agency or whether it is brought before the Joint Operations Board for a decision to deny access.


An agency may petition the Joint Operations Board for a User's reinstatement to the system at such time they determine no further violations will occur.


User Agency System Access: The system accommodates the logging on of up to two (2) persons per MDC. Any time a determination is made that an employee is not to have access to the system whether temporary or permanent, they shall notify NORCOM techs to ensure that the CAD Security File is updated.


Electronic Messaging: NORCOM is equipped with a CAD system that allows for the transmission of electronic quick messages and computer to computer or multi-computer message sending. The system is intended for the enhancement of NORCOM operations. The NORCOM owns an MDC software system, New World that interfaces with the CAD System. The Washington State ACCESS System for Police Departments is also in place at Bellevue Police Records and NORCOM. Strict rules and guidelines apply. Refer to ACCESS Manual.



Use of the MDC equipment in a moving vehicle is inherently dangerous. Officers using this equipment while operating a motor vehicle must exercise caution and avoid potential distractions created by the use of the MDC. Should a collision occur related to the use of the MDC, the policy/procedure related to City vehicles involved in a collision will apply. P


Members of the Bellevue Police Department may use the MDC’s only for official business. Message sending capabilities shall not be used for transmission of information that promotes discrimination on the basis of age, gender, marital status, race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sensory, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation.


v      Sexual harassment.

v      Personal political or religious views.

v      Any unlawful activity.

v      Union business.

v      Personal opinions or comments regarding a call.

No one but trained, authorized members of the Bellevue Police Department shall access or otherwise make use of the MDC’s.


No member shall attempt, in any manner, to circumvent the security system of the MDC.


No member shall tamper with, or attempt to repair, any hardware component for which he/she has not been specifically trained and assigned to maintain and/or repair.


No member shall modify, reconfigure, add to, or delete from any software application, operating system or peripheral device unless specifically trained and assigned to do so.


No member shall knowingly make a fictitious, unauthorized, anonymous, or inaccurate entry into the MDC data base and/or message handling system.


No member shall knowingly make use of, turn off, or log off any computer terminal to which he/she is not logged on without permission from a supervisor or commander.


No member shall make use of any other individual’s security password as a means of security access to any computer.


No member shall record, disseminate, or cause to be recorded and/or disseminated, any record or records of system security passwords or devices of other persons without the expressed written permission of the Deputy Chief or his/her designee.


Any member who has cause to believe that the computer system security, security file and/or integrity has been violated, compromised, or jeopardized, shall immediately report the same to his/her supervisor or commander.




Employees have no expectation of privacy when utilizing the MDC.


Electronic messages cannot be protected against unauthorized access caused by:

Bellevue Police Department

v      User’s failure to maintain password security.

v      Devices logged onto the system, but left unattended by users.

v      Messages forwarded to others by recipient.

v      Messages printed at locations where individuals other than the intended recipient may view.


v      Messages directed to the wrong recipient.

v      Messages saved/stored by the member prior to logging off the system and/or leaving their computer.


It shall be the responsibility of the supervisors and commanders to enforce this policy and to monitor messages being sent by employees.


v      The Watch Commander will be responsible for routinely monitoring MDC messaging to ensure compliance with professional standards and policy.

v      As part of an investigation, a supervisor or commander shall take action to gather facts and may review and/or monitor messages being sent. Department




Dispatching Incidents:


Under normal circumstances, the basic information on all incidents will be dispatched verbally. Incidents should not be sent from NORCOM to an MDC without a verbal advisement to the assigned unit(s).


Under special circumstances where verbal communication would jeopardize the effectiveness or safety of an incident, total MDC communication may be utilized.


All verbal transmissions from responding units that change status or location will be recorded by NORCOM, regardless of the MDC capability of the responding unit. NORCOM should not assume nor expect responding units to record critical information in the CAD System.


Priority one (1) through three (3) incidents will be dispatched verbally and via MDC in their entirety. Priority four (4) and five (5) incidents may be dispatched via MDC with minimal information verbalized to the officer (i.e., “1B12, a Theft Report MDC”). NORCOM will ensure the officer(s) acknowledge the advisement.


NORCOM should pay special attention to MDC transactions to remain aware of officer location and status. As with non-MDC equipped units, status checks will be performed accordingly.


Should an MDC unit not respond to a transmission requiring a response, NORCOM will attempt to gain the attention of the unit by verbalizing the unit number, followed by the phrase "Acknowledge MDC". In the event the officer does not respond, NORCOM will attempt to ascertain the unit's status. Should this attempt fail, immediate back-up shall be dispatched to the unit’s last known location.


MDC User Procedures:


v      Routine Transmissions

              Responding units may initiate all routine status changes, such as en-route, on-scene and clear.


v      Critical Transmissions

Critical requests should not be made via MDC, such as a law enforcement request for a fire/EMS response or a request for backup or assistance. Units should also avoid “silent” transmissions on important tasks to allow units without MDC have to monitor activity.


v      On-View Incidents (Traffic Stops)

Officers utilizing the on-view function of the MDC shall verbalize the incident to NORCOM and identify their intent to initiate the CAD incident themselves by immediately following the advisement with the term MDC (i.e. “1B12, Traffic MDC”). The fact that an incident was on-viewed through an MDC does not change NORCOM staff responsibility to check officer status and respond accordingly.


Recommended practice: Continue to call out traffic stops on the air.




The ACCESS interface is available to law enforcement MDC equipped units. Department


While an MDC unit is capable of performing a variety of ACCESS inquiries Records shall continue to perform these queries upon request. Under no circumstances shall Records refuse a data inquiry or direct an officer to utilize their MDC for that purpose.


MDC equipped units are designed to alert the user of any possible warrant, officer safety or stolen vehicle information.


The Officer must communicate with Records to confirm all pertinent warrant information to ensure that he/she has the correct subject and/or plate.


Once the subject and/or plate confirmation has been made, Records shall phone the originating agency and verify the return. When completed, Records will document the warrant information in the appropriate CAD call.


A Central Computerized Enforcement Service System (ACCESS) is a computer controlled system operated and maintained for all law enforcement and criminal justice agencies within the state and administered by the Washington State Patrol (WSP). All users will conform to the rules, regulations, policies, or procedures developed by NCIC and adopted by the WSP.  These are provided to users during ACCESS certification/re-certification training.   


The ACCESS System shall only be used for official law enforcement business.  Each user must observe all restrictions placed on the use or dissemination of information received through ACCESS.  Although some records may be public information, if the information is obtained through ACCESS it must only be used for criminal justice purposes. Those records that may be considered public would have to be released through a formal public disclosure request. Queries or messages not pertaining to law enforcement business (e.g. personal inquiries) are strictly prohibited.  Vehicle records may be released to tow operators as specified by Washington State Law.


Users shall not use any information obtained through the ACCESS system, including Department of Licensing (DOL) and Department of Corrections (DOC) information, for private business or personal reasons or furnish any information so obtained to any other person for such use.   Accessing criminal history on family or friends and accessing vehicle registration for personal use are examples of misuse.  Users do not have to disseminate information in order to be in violation.


All allegations of ACCESS misuse must be investigated.  The Chief of Police and the ACCESS Information Security Officer (WSP) shall be notified of any allegation of ACCESS misuse.


Terminal Security


All users are responsible to ensure the security of the terminal sites and information

received. Terminal locations must be secure from unauthorized access, and all

employees authorized to use the system shall be instructed on the proper use of

equipment and the dissemination of information received.


Technical Agency Coordinator


The Major of the Administrative Services Section shall designate a Technical Agency Coordinator (TAC) to act as the point of contact for the WSP and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The individual designated to function as a TAC must meet all WSP requirements for TAC’s. TAC responsibilities include but are not limited to;


v      the Department contact for audits conducted by the ACCESS audit staff;


v      Responsibility for proper operator performance and strict adherence to regulations;


v      Prompt notification of violations to the ACCESS Section;


v      Ensuring proper training and certification


Reporting of Equipment or Connection Problems             


Field Units/Supervisors are responsible for the reporting of any problems with individual MDC units or connection to NORCOM tech support. If the AVL (Automatic Vehicle Locator) system is down, NORCOM Center Dispatchers/Supervisors will notify the Information Technology Department, and the on-duty patrol supervisor.


If you are unable to broadcast using your radio because of a poor coverage area, you can move to an area with better coverage or use an alternate form of communication such as your cell phone, MDC or a land line.   If you locate an area of poor coverage, report this area immediately to Dispatch so they can document and schedule a radio technician to resolve the issue.