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Updating in-vehicle solutions

In the interest of constantly improving public safety, law enforcement agencies everywhere are looking to technology to achieve faster communication and reliable remote network management. Pike County emergency 911 dispatch, together with the police agency and fire department in Troy, Alabama, recently sought to update their systems with those very results in mind.

Protecting and serving a population of nearly 35,000 people spread over 672 square miles, and another 19,000 in Troy, the aging fleet of cruisers and fire trucks needed significant upgrades to ensure they stayed connected 24/7.

Problems at the time included MiFi devices for Internet connectivity that didn’t interface with CAD technology, resulting in a charge that only lasted four hours—just half of a standard eight-hour patrol shift. Every time a vehicle would lose its connection, the MiFi devices had to reboot. Of course, in a field where emergencies and dangerous situations can unfold at a moment’s notice, downtime is never acceptable. The cruisers and fire trucks also needed broadband devices that could easily withstand constant jostling and a wide range of environmental conditions.

To combat these issues, the county’s IT team sought remote cloud management capabilities that would allow them to streamline processes and conserve vital public funds. For the safety of their officers, the police department also needed active GPS enabling real-time tracking, and they wanted it built into the broadband device instead of being forced to use two pieces of hardware.

After a full bid process and careful product testing, Pike County and the City of Troy chose Cradlepoint’s ruggedized COR IBR1100 routers with Enterprise Cloud Manager PRIME as the solution to their wide-ranging connectivity and security needs.

With benefits like reliable connectivity for timely communication, and real-time tracking using active GPS, it was a comprehensive solution that made the most sense.

“The IBR COR1100 provided the most cost-effective option among devices that met all of the departments’ needs,” said Troy Chief of Police Randall Barr. “Also, the man-hour savings that come from remote cloud management added a lot of value for us.”

Always-on, 4G LTE connectivity through Cradlepoint devices allows public safety agencies to take full advantage of CAD technology. Critical information entered into one end of the CAD interface instantly shows up on the other end—saving valuable time.

“Previously, our local agencies had to field a phone call, take detailed notes, and then relay the info to other emergency services departments via the radio,” said Chris Dozier, Director, Pike County Emergency 911 Dispatch. “With public safety hanging in the balance, we absolutely needed to find a better solution.”

Real-time tracking

With the benefit of active GPS, dispatchers are more efficiently protecting the community by tracking the location of public safety units in real time. When a call regarding a burglary, kidnapping, or medical emergency requires immediate assistance, dispatchers can now more quickly determine and send out the officers who are nearest the scene of the emergency.

“The value of being able to see our officers and vehicles in real time is a huge benefit to our organization,” said Capt. Danny Barron of Troy Police.

Active GPS also provides an added layer of protection for the officers themselves. If an officer is in a life-threatening accident on the road, his or her cruiser can be found from headquarters at a moment’s notice, and additional officers can be sent out immediately in response.

Other key benefits
  • With the unique ability to operate in Send to Server Mode and/or Send to Client Mode independently, the COR IBR1100 provides these agencies with the flexibility to simultaneously send data to remote servers or have local or remote clients request the data to store in the vehicle or remotely over the LTE connection.
  • With ECM PRIME, the routers for Troy Police vehicles can all be configured, simultaneously and instantly, without bringing every car into headquarters. Once deployed, small adjustments can be made to individual devices remotely as needed.
  • Further, ECM PRIME enables multiple police officials to make changes. For example, Chief Barr and his captains intermittently must switch vehicle badge numbers—a task they can easily accomplish via ECM’s user-friendly interface.
  • In the field, Cradlepoint gives Pike County public safety professionals access to WiFi anywhere within 200 yards of their vehicles. This enables them to respond to domestic calls, take pictures at incidents, report in real time, and more.
  • With Troy Police and Fire constantly on the move at high speeds in a wide range of terrains, the ruggedized COR IBR1100’s metal housing, shock and vibration protection, and built-in modem are invaluable


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