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Law enforcement vehicles leverage 4G LTE for reliable network connectivity
40 years ago, the only technology the police force needed was the radio and the location of the nearest pay phone. Today, officers get all of their information digitally. It’s no longer received by phone like you see in the movies. Police radios scan dozens of channels, as there are multiple outlets to monitor, including body cameras, on-board cameras, multiple cell phones, in-vehicle computer data terminals with Internet access, traffic-monitoring radar units, and much more.
These advancements have given police departments opportunities to use many of the same technologies that are helping create Smart Cities — adding new levels of connectivity that allow every level of government to be more responsive and efficient, and driving improvements in how they respond to public safety threats.
These changes are helping officers streamline administrative work and freeing up more time to do what they do best.
Many cities are implementing “Smart” IoT tools in the arms race of becoming a “Smart City.” Devices range from digital kiosks to sensors that alert mobile devices when a parking spot is available. Many police departments have joined the race by adopting integrated systems, which provide the ability to provide reliable information to an officer in a patrol car before a citizen even dials 9-1-1.
Many Smart Cities have adopted the use of street lights that alert maintenance teams when a malfunction occurred. This type of technology can be coupled with gunshot detection equipment, adding the ability for lights to become a bit brighter upon detection. Or, during a chase on foot down a dark road, the lights can be adjusted to become brighter to aid in the pursuit.
Adding these capabilities into video surveillance, license plate readers, and recorders — along with the ability to readily forward this information to first responder workers, police command, control, and any other necessary departments — provides significant value for police forces to be able to detect and, ultimately, deter criminal activity.
Advanced technologies are helping law enforcement agencies use the manpower they have in smarter ways. Officers have better opportunities to be at the right place at the right time, with the right knowledge at hand — and this is just the tipping point to what technology can provide.
With so many police technologies and applications relying on Internet connectivity, police departments have increasingly shifted toward 4G LTE networks for a wide range of data-driven communication services. The reliability and security of these mobile networks must be in place for their jobs to get done. Officers need access to mission-critical applications and the Internet from anywhere — with data flowing from onboard telemetry, sensors, surveillance cameras, and other devices.
At the same time, most police departments rely on small IT teams. With vehicles spread all over a city, and with sensitive data at risk, the ability to remotely manage the network is a must. Departments are seeking the enterprise-class visibility, security, and control of fixed branch networks with the durability necessary for in-vehicle use. Cloud, mobile computing, IoT, and 4G/5G wireless technologies are converging to create new solutions that meet the needs of the modern-day police force.
As new law enforcement technology use cases constantly pop up and nationwide public safety networks progress, the need for secure, reliable connectivity that is easy for departments to deploy, manage, and expand will surge. With scalable solutions in place, new technologies will allow crime fighters to enhance their ability to protect and serve their communities.