Beyond asset management: Critical real-time information improves public safety
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Critical real-time information improves public safety
Unclipping his sidearm, the officer triggers a small sensor that sends a Wi-Fi signal to the mobile gateway in the trunk of his cruiser. A “weapon drawn” event is then forwarded to the CAD system, which automatically broadcasts the message to every vehicle within a 10-mile radius, along with the location of the event. All available officers begin to converge on the scene.
The dispatcher monitoring the video stream receives notification that the officer is no longer within 30 feet of his vehicle and immediately broadcasts a notice to be on the lookout for the suspect vehicle. Another notice informs the new arrivals that the officer is engaged in a foot pursuit. A canine unit is dispatched to assist in tracking both the officer and the suspect, if required.
Ten minutes later, the event is over and the officer meets his colleagues on the way back to his vehicle with the suspect in handcuffs and a small duffel bag containing narcotics and a handgun. Two miles away, the suspect vehicle is pulled over by an officer who had received the vehicle description and plate information.
With advance knowledge, the arresting officer chooses not to approach the vehicle; instead, he shouts instructions from behind the shelter of his cruiser, shotgun at the ready. After apprehending the driver, more narcotics and a small weapons cache are found in the car’s trunk.
In the days and weeks to follow, review of the incident is aided greatly by detailed reports showing which officers responded to the event, where and when they left their vehicles, and which weapons were drawn (including the shotgun employed by the officer who stopped the suspect vehicle). A clear timeline, with all personnel, weapons and other assets accounted for, leads to a successful conviction.
Assessing your connectivity solution
All of the technology utilized in the aforementioned scenario exists today and increasingly is being adopted by public-safety agencies.
Some of the key features that are unique to enabling a reliable and efficient mobility management scheme for public safety are:
· Multi-Network Support. Crimes and accidents can happen anywhere, and no one wireless technology can cover all locations at all times. A multi-network cognitive radio system is essential to keep public-safety personnel online as close to 100% of the time as possible.
· Vehicle Area Network (VAN). Depending on the application requirements, support for a variety of devices may be needed. A long-range RFID tag scanner can tell when someone or something moves more than 30 feet from a vehicle, but it is not ideally suited to detect entry/exit of the vehicle. And, short-range systems used to monitor doorways are not well suited to track consumption of supplies within the vehicle—for example, pharmaceuticals and disposable equipment in an ambulance. In this scenario, an oMG Mobile Gateway from Sierra Wireless can coordinate short range and long range RFID scanners and also a Wi-Fi-enabled sensor on the officer’s holster to indicate when his gun was drawn. The VAN allows multiple tools to be used to optimize workflow and get the job done right.
· Location Awareness. In public safety, it isn’t just “what” and “when” that is important; “where” is also critical. The mobile gateway’s embedded GPS capability allows events to be correlated not only by time but by location. This offers a clear tactical advantage during an incident and historical insight when reviewing it.
· Application Server. The mobile gateway’s ability to provide storage and run custom software applications enables it to intelligently react to events in and around the vehicle without user intervention. This is critical in first-responder situations when users might be busy dealing with the emergency at hand.
· Event Reporting and Forwarding. The oMM Management System, which collects and analyzes data from the mobile gateways across the fleet, provides a detailed event log, and can relay events to third party systems (e.g. CAD) to automate workflow. Detailed textual and graphical reports provide an accurate, easy-to-understand view of specific incidents and general operation.
In the world of public safety, mobile assets need to be managed, not simply tracked. Bringing new technology into play via an oMG Mobile Gateway and associated oMM Management System provides enhanced capabilities that can arm public-safety agencies with tools to protect officers and the public they serve, both by handling emergencies as they happen and by providing the ability to analyze incidents after the fact.
Tony Morris is a vice president at Sierra Wireless.