The Best Weapon is Technology

| 11/22/2013 8:50:40 AM

Cellular M2M Applications in Law Enforcement

 “I not only design cellular products… I use and depend on them.”
Graduating with honors and at the top of my Police Academy class, I have been serving my community for over 17 years as a reserve Deputy Sheriff.  I’m also an Electrical Engineer specializing in remote data telemetry/SCADA systems for the past 30 years.  Some think it’s an odd combination but I love both jobs.
Bill Conley, Police OfficerThe public often sees Police officers as authority figures toting the typical sidearm, handcuffs, and police radio. Hollywood typically shows the exciting side of law enforcement but the reality is with every arrest or incident there are hours of documentation and paperwork. Some estimates put ½ of a law enforcement officer’s time is devoted to those activities.    For a 30 person department, this is a rough cost of $900,000 per year in lost productivity.
Police agencies and Sheriff’s offices all over the nation are thinking much smarter in today’s fast moving world. The modern Police officer is confronted with many aspects of the job. We’re trained to be detailed observers and skilled documenters of facts. When I first started in law enforcement we would take a report at the sub-station; wants and warrants and license checks were requested over a radio, dispatchers were overworked with processing request from officers in the field, and officers taking someone to jail would require carrying a hand full of paperwork.  Agencies throughout the US are suffering manpower shortages and the same time the public is demanding faster response times, the ability to manage data and prioritize calls for service is critical even life saving.
My patrol car, like millions of other police officers, is my office; next to my handcuffs and medical kit is my best weapon, my Mobile Data terminal.  Today, MDT’s play an important and expanding role within law enforcement.    Not only is it used to run wants and warrants, freeing up the radio for other critical events; it’s also used to dispatch officers to an incident, used to write reports, gives supervisors the ability to track assets in the during critical events and find locations and address using GPS/GEO Mapping.  The FBI also requires all police agencies to report crime statistics as part of the Uniform Crime Reports act. 
Bill Conley, EngineerAs an engineer I design products such as the RT3G-300 cellular router and as a Deputy Sheriff I use cellular routers to connect my mobile office to my supervisors, peers and headquarters. It’s truly a critical lifeline and is just as vital as any equipment I carry.
The amount of equipment packed in a patrol car these days is impressive, from MDT’s to Cameras to Finger Print capturing devices to tracking equipment to GPS.  How does all the data from all these devices flow from a patrol car to a law enforcement processing facility? The easy answer is; on top of the largest data infrastructure in the world – the telephone cellular data network.  The most cost effective way to get IP based platforms, like MDT’s, to communicate over an IP based network is to use a cellular router such as B&B’s RT3G-300 series routers.  
What about those devices that do not have IP support, such as a device using a serial type interface? No worries; The RT3G-300 can support a serial port and converting a serial device to an IP address is as simple as checking a configuration box.  The RT3G-300 allows for seamless integration of many types of communication devices across many media types to send data from a single cellular router. All the devices within my patrol car communicate via one cellular router.
The FBI has very strict rules and restrictions on requesting, submitting or accessing personal or criminal records across a network. Devices such as cell routers are subject to a rigorous regiment of test and compliance requirements before an agency can access federal, state or local records. The RT3G-300 meets or exceeds all requirements to transport sensitive information.
Cellular technology is often considered a consumer product, but the Spectre 3G router demonstrates that technology, carefully deployed against process problems that hamper productivity, can be a first responders best weapon.

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