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A computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system is a highly specialized computer system that uses telecommunications and geographic display to support police and other first responders, such as fire and ambulance services. Specific to police, CAD is used to dispatch officers to incident locations about which citizens have called for police services, to record officers’ self-generated activity, to facilitate communication between police officers and dispatchers who support officers in the field, as well as to keep track of calls for service, officers’ locations, and their activities. Because a CAD system tracks the activities of officers on all service calls, it is an important source of data for community policing. This entry details the two key types of data that CAD systems produce—unit history data and calls for ...

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