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Back to Archives | Back to March 2009 Contents 

Advances & Applications

Where do the good ideas come from? In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about — and benefit from — some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Uses Digital Signage Network from Helius

Helius, a Hughes company, announces that the Los Angeles County, California, Sheriff’s Department (LASD), led by Sheriff Lee Baca, has selected the Helius digital communications system to inform and train its employees, as well as to keep inmates abreast of correctional facility rules and regulations. The Helius solution, chosen in part because traditional communications channels were often inefficient, will allow the Sheriff’s Department to optimize the flow of information from central command to local offices and ensure that timely information is disseminated quickly and efficiently.

“We tested other solutions, but in the end we chose Helius because the system allowed us to conveniently provide digital signage, on-demand training, and department-wide communications in an affordable, all-in-one package,” said Sergeant Steve Strange.

As the largest sheriff’s department in the world, the LASD will deploy screens in high-traffic areas at each of the 23 stations and 10 correctional facilities under its jurisdiction, reaching an estimated 18,000 deputies and professional staff.

The Helius-powered network will provide deputies and professional staff with current news and weather data, crime data, and other important messages. Additionally, the network will provide personnel with access to training information that can be used to supplement classroom-based work.

For more information, click here, and enter number 30.

Mutualink’s Multimedia Interoperability Platform Contributes to Presidential Inauguration Security

As millions attended the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., law enforcement agencies were armed with a new interoperable communications platform that enabled security forces to share multifaceted communications and video in real time. Using Mutualink’s multimedia sharing platform, the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Police (WMATA-MTPD), United States Park Police (USPP), Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), and New Jersey Transit Police Department (NJTPD) were able to communicate seamlessly over disparate radio and telephone systems and share direct live video surveillance feeds with each other. Working in coordination with the agencies, Mutualink was quickly deployed over a two-week period to provide key situational awareness and rapid coordinated communications response capabilities. Deployments included installations at agency headquarters, police dispatch operations, emergency management centers, and three mobile command vehicles.

The MPD’s use of Mutualink included command center remote telephone connectivity with local radio communications, as well as wireless sharing of video, voice, and text with other agencies from fixed and mobile centers.

WMATA-MTPD Deputy Chief Jeri KaVon Lee, Administrative Services Bureau, cited the value of integration with existing systems: “WMATA is always looking for law enforcement and public safety technology solutions like Mutualink that are effective, low-cost, and easily integrated into our existing communications infrastructure and work procedures. Since interoperability is key to improved readiness and response, I was pleased to see the collaboration and communication advantages Mutualink provided during the Inauguration for our connection with other transit and law enforcement agencies.”

Simultaneously, the USPP used several aspects of the enhanced interoperability by sharing voice and video, including real-time streaming video from a cellular telephone, with other National Capital Region law enforcement partners.

For more information, click here, and enter number 31.

San Antonio’s Alamo Region Public Safety System to Link Multiple Agencies and Jurisdictions using TriTech VisiNet

TriTech Software Systems announces that it has been awarded a contract to develop a comprehensive emergency communications system for the city of San Antonio. TriTech will be implementing its computer-aided dispatch, mobile data, and records management solution for San Antonio, which is the second largest city in Texas and the seventh largest in the United States. The $14.7 million contract includes the installation of a comprehensive multiagency, multijurisdictional communications solution for the Alamo Region Public Safety System, which includes law enforcement and fire agencies as well as emergency medical services for the city of San Antonio, Bexar County, and the city of Schertz. Additional site licenses will be issued for neighboring Guadalupe and Comal Counties.

“We are very excited to partner with Bexar County, Bexar Metro 9-1-1, and the city of Schertz on the Alamo Region Public Safety System,” said Alamo Region Public Safety System project leader Jeff Wood. “The new solution developed by TriTech Software Systems will enable our member public safety agencies in the Alamo Region to communicate with each other quickly and seamlessly, virtually eliminating any agency and jurisdictional boundaries. Incident and unit information can be automatically transferred between the different communication centers and field personnel regardless of the jurisdiction of the originating call or responding agency. The end result is enhanced mutual aid and improved regional communications to provide timely emergency response to our citizens.”

TriTech’s VisiCAD Command computer-aided dispatch system is a robust solution able to fulfill the technological requirements and bandwidth to support the heavy call volume of large jurisdictions yet is flexible enough to meet the specific needs of the individual agencies. The implementation will also include TriTech’s VisiNet Mobile data solution, a wireless, PC-based fleet application that seamlessly extends VisiCAD Command to field personnel. Completing the integrated enterprise solution, TriTech’s VisiNet Law RMS system provides seamless integration with the Alamo Region Public Safety System’s VisiCAD Command and VisiNet Mobile solutions as well as other third-party applications and databases, enabling the participating agencies to share and receive information. ■

For more information, click here, and enter number 32.



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVII, no. 3, March 2009. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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