Brave New World: Wireless Access Technologies and the Impact on Policing
Part two of a three-part series
It’s remarkable how many companies have begun research and development of broadband capabilities for public safety. Third Generation (3G), Fourth Generation (4G) and all the latest devices are moving toward wireless access technologies known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMax. Regardless of which network is used, public safety will go in one of two directions – proprietary solutions, which is the current law enforcement experience with vendors, or an open architecture approach, which allows any radio spectrum on any device.
For many of us, a cellular device or smart phone is an item we take for granted and we can’t wait for each week’s new applications to come out. In public safety, officers apply many capabilities in DNA, prints and biometrics, yet there is no way to quickly access these from the field. That’s why companies like Raytheon advocate for open architecture as it’ll provide officers with the information they need now to do their jobs efficiently – and effectively.
With LTE or WiMax, the ways you use the current hand-held radio on your belt and the phone in your pocket merge.
Through wireless technology in the field, officers will be able to:
- Check prints
- Run suspects
- Determine facial recognition
- Check probation/parole records
- Check criminal records
- Access past arrest and crime reports
These are just a few examples and it’s encouraging that police executives and IT professionals in public safety are finally demanding these new capabilities in program development.
As true open architecture devices are built, the possibilities that exist in our collective imagination will begin to take on real-life relevance. It’s a great time to be a cop!
This post is part two of a three-part series.
Part one is here: “What Open Architecture Systems Mean to a Field Cop”
Part three is here: “3G, 4G, LTE – What Does It Mean?”
Mike Bostic was with the LAPD for 34 years. He held every significant command up to Assistant Chief. Mr. Bostic is currently working in communications technology/public safety at Raytheon. He will also provide the closing keynote address on Wednesday Jan 12th at The SMILE (Social Media the Internet and Law Enforcement) Conference in Santa Monica. Find him on Twitter – @mikebostic