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Police Scanners May Be Headed for Morgue

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Police Scanners May Be Headed for Morgue

Article excerpt

Memorial scheduled in Caddo Parish?

A Louisiana Web site could relegate that annoying scanner over on the police desk to the junk heap of outdated technology. The Caddo Parish 911 Communications District in the northwestern corner of the state runs a portal that automatically publishes details about emergency services calls. The site (http://www.caddo911.com) can be reached by the public, but local media outlets have special access privileges that provide more information from the 911 dispatch center.

"A lot of times we hear stuff [on the scanner] and have absolutely no idea what it is," said police reporter Seth Parsons of The Times in Shreveport. "The Web site saves a lot of time because we can look up the address and find out which agency has been sent out to respond to an event."

The portal helps reporters decide whether or not they need to go to the scene of an accident, fire, or crime. For example, if a traffic- investigation unit is dispatched to an accident scene, Parsons knows there's a potential fatality involved. …

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