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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

LAPD Begins Testing Voice-Activated Software

November 24, 1998

RESEDA — A new computer software program being tested at the Los Angeles Police Department's West Valley station is replacing the computer keyboard.

Now, when officers type up a crime report, they tell the computer, "Wake up."

Once the machine is on, officers speak in a normal voice and the words are recorded by the computer, which writes them on the screen.

Eight officers at the West Valley station are testing the Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional software. If the pilot program is successful, it may be expanded to other Los Angeles Police Department divisions.

Although widely used in private industry, the voice-activated software is relatively new to law enforcement. In fact, the West Valley pilot program is being officially unveiled today.

"Once I learned this software was out there, I knew it could do wonders for the men and women of the LAPD," said City Councilwoman Laura Chick, who persuaded Dragon Systems to donate the software for the test period.

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