I blogged last week about the birth of Lincoln's public safety mobile data project, in 1994. The data system that powers LPD's extensive information resources, however, predates that by another fifteen years. I ran across this little excerpt from "News Beat 814", a short-lived newsletter published at the police department in the 1970s. 814 was radio code for "headquarters." I think young Sgt. Larry Barksdale was the editor, as I recall. You can click the image for a little larger view.
This paragraph came from the January 5, 1976 edition of the newsletter. That's before Microsoft, before the IBM PC, before Apple: at the dawn of the information technology age in policing. The article went on to say that the department planned to computerize records by the end of 1978. It ended up taking a year longer, but the result--constantly enhanced and refined--still fuels the police department's records management system.