SANATOGA PA – Probably the last thing Lower Pottsgrove police expected to encounter in their line of duties was office equipment problems in patrol cars, but that’s what they’ll deal with before July (2014) ends, Chief Michael Foltz said.
Like millions of devices in offices and homes across the country, the laptop computers mounted to the right of the driver in the department’s vehicles – from which officers access information on people, license plates, judicial records and dispatcher messages – run on the Microsoft-brand Windows XP operating system. The global software maker ended its support for Windows XP on April 8.
Microsoft explains that for the past 12 years it has provided updates and technical support for the software. Its early April cut-off, which was well publicized in advance, means that computers “running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be protected” and could be vulnerable to malware and malicious attacks.
Lower Pottsgrove is not alone. Other departments in Montgomery County face the same problem, and county administrators have taken the lead in offering solutions, Foltz told the township Board of Commissioners earlier this month. They include new software introductions and patches, the chief said, and may be accompanied by a learning curve for some officers.
The upgrades should be completed shortly, he added.
Photo from Google Images