Upgraded video systems and wireless tech play a major role in the following two industries, each serving a particular niche in public safety. Law enforcement aircraft operators now have access to products that may help them ‘see’ and even make decisions high in the sky. On the communications front, dispatchers are receiving a slew of multimedia information in addition to regular calls, including video and text messaging. This helps to better recreate real situations and might help fill in the blanks regarding ongoing investigations.
Sean Drew is the Business Development Manager at Integrated Microwave Technologies (IMT), LLC. IMT designs and manufactures digital microwave video systems for mission-critical applications for military, aerospace and government customers. These systems provide enhanced situational awareness capabilities in covert surveillance, tactical systems monitoring and strategic detection scenarios.
How has business been this year?
Business has been delightfully hectic since March. A lot of this activity has come from agencies adding onto their aircrafts’ existing integrated video downlink systems. These systems are tremendously diverse in their applications, with users ranging from law enforcement, first-response teams and EMS, as well as fire fighters and border patrol. We find these users typically adding receive sites to their Mobile Command Units as well as adding handheld receivers. The application of the video downlink also gets recognized by other departments within the agency who wish to utilize video feeds.
What type of concerns or requests did you notice among your law enforcement customers?
The biggest concerns we notice are funding and budget. Most agencies know that there are grants available for the products that we manufacture, but, surprisingly there are quite a few that don’t. Even for agencies that are aware of the grants that are available, there may not be a dedicated resource within the agency to actively procure the grant.
Any specific product or service that was in demand in 2013?
Our video downlink systems are the most popular product with airborne law enforcement. They transmit live, HD images from helicopters to a number of receive sites, enhancing our customer’s operational readiness and improving critical response capability.
What specific product modifications or improvements will your company look into (if any) in 2014?
Wireless technologies and solutions are becoming an integral part of law enforcement, especially for those that are first responders or have primary responsibilities located away from the police headquarters or offices. It is important for agencies to be prepared for migration to IP-based public safety networks with appropriate technology. We have begun implementing bonded cellular 4G/LTE into our longer range transmitters and Bluetooth capability into our smaller form factor transmitters. This gives the user the ability to make changes to a transmitter that may be in a surveillance ‘hide’ without having to hook a cable directly up to the unit. A user can walk to within 30 feet or so of the transmitter or receiver and make the changes on a smartphone or tablet device.
Diamond Chaflawee is the director of marketing and business development for NICE Systems, for the public safety market. NICE Systems proides software that records communications between the dispatchers and units in the field; any other multimedia that is either generated or arrives at the center in the form of video, GIS maps, screen recording of the call taker or dispatchers activity. NICE Inform manages incident data, keeps it secured, and allows users to share with stakeholders such as the district attorney, police investigators or the media.
The goal is to recreate an incident after the fact in a way that is authentic reconstruction of what really happened based on the things that were said on the phone and radio, based on things video, operations and actions that the operator in the center took and so on. That is very useful for investigation purposes.