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      • Walking the Final Stretch Together - The Importance of Pre-Release Field Testing

        Published 8 hours ago by Julie Folden
        • EMS
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

        This blog is the third in the “Walk in Your Shoes” series. lt highlights the importance of field testing our products with first responders before launch to ensure quality. Read the first two blogs Walk in Your Shoes – The Foundation of Customer-Focused Software Applications and Walking Alongside Law Enforcement - I’ve Learned So Much.

        Engaging Fire and Law Enforcement officers from product inception through launch is important to creating the right products for the Public Safety Market. This is also the most enjoyable part of my role. Pre-release testing is a vital step that ensures quality and usability of our product offerings when launched. Receiving direct feedback and end-user interactions in the station, in the vehicle and in the field during the pre-release cycles allows us to better meet first responder needs and expectations when we go to market. It also provides valuable insights about how the product performs in the customer’s environment.

        In preparation for the PremierOne Handheld iOS launch, I recently completed three on-site customer field trials observing hands-on use, seeking expert input and performing integrated testing. During these field trials, System Administrators, Firefighters, Medics, Police Officers and Sergeants engaged with me and our Engineering Team for interactive road testing of PremierOne Handheld on iPhones, iPads, and Android Smartphones. Walking responders through features like  Responder and Unit Location Tracking, Emergency Activations, Real-time Incident and Unit Status Monitors and Dynamic Incident Updates was the focus of these trials.  Watching as responders navigate through and use our application in the field helps us understand if the application is as intuitive as we designed it to be. Side-by-side testing to ensure that all the features deliver the intended benefits without technical glitches is a vital step to ensuring product quality.

        Observing customer reactions during the field trials helps us gauge how features will be received when launched. For instance, during our field trials for PremierOne Handheld, the application’s ability to scan a driver’s license to auto-populate incidents with personal details was received with great enthusiasm. The application’s ability to automatically query Records, State and NCIC databases, and return all prior incident details based on this scan was also a key highlight. Our customers’ reaction to PremierOne Handheld, our smartphone and tablet application, proves the value of time in the field and the benefit of walking step-by-step beside our first responders from product inception through launch.

        Receiving inputs from first responders never gets old. If you are going to be at at IACP, 2017 please stop by the Motorola Solutions Booth #3037 and try out our newest applications. My colleagues and I would love to hear your opinion about our products so we can continue to meet and exceed your expectations.

        Julie Folden is Mobility Product Manager at Motorola Solutions. Her job is to understand the daily activities and needs of police, fire, and EMS personnel to help software development teams to create the best mobile and handheld applications for both today and tomorrow. She takes her job seriously having completed over 500 public safety experiential visits over the past 15 years.

      • Building the Police Department of the Future

        Published 8 hours ago by Josie Slaughter
        • EMS
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

        The following blog is by Ralph Martin, Police Chief, Santa Maria, California. Read on to hear his first hand account of his work in building a police department of the future and ensuring his public safety personnel have everything they need.

        When I began my career in law enforcement, back in 1973, we didn't even have portable radios. I had a little Motorola two-way radio in a 1972 Dodge with bench seats. If we needed help, we had to run back to the car, ask for help, and then go back to the scene.

        As a young deputy sheriff in Los Angeles County, then lieutenant, captain, and division commander, I watched society change and law enforcement evolve. I was a platoon commander during all five nights of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

        There were very few frequencies back then, and communications were restricted. I never thought I'd see the day when there would be computers inside a police car. Now, we can get not only voice but also data inside the car and on portable devices.

        I retired in 2009, but came out of retirement at the request of the city of Santa Maria. The job was to restructure the Police Department. I was excited about the opportunity to build a department from the ground up. And that included a communication system, a new fleet, and an entire new building.

        We're a self-contained police department, and we do our own dispatching for 130 officers, as well as the Fire Department, handling close to 300 calls for service every day.

        The communication system is the most important tool we have, yet, the City of Santa Maria's system was 20 years old. Our upgrade to Motorola Solutions WAVE, computer aided dispatch and next generation call-talking will enable the entire city to communicate—not only the police and fire departments, but also public works, transit and the schools.

        Because when something goes south, whether it's an earthquake, whether it's inclement weather, a missing child or an auto accident, everyone dials 9-1-1. And we want to be there for them.

        My job as Police Chief was no longer to drive around and arrest people; it's to make sure that public safety personnel have everything they need to do their job. I want the new generation that's coming into the police department to know that we did everything we could to make the job easier, not just this week, or next month, or a year from now, but 10 years from now.

        Learn more about Santa Maria’s vision by watching this video

        Ralph Martin is Police Chief for Santa Maria, California. 


      • Securing Fair, Just and Accurate Rulings From Body-Worn Video Evidence

        Published 9 days ago by Jason Hutchens
        • Body Worn Camera
        • Law Enforcement

        A variety of body-worn camera (BWC) benefits have been outlined since they were thrust into the spotlight over the past couple years. In this series, we will be breaking down three primary components of successfully using the digital evidence BWCs produce in court. This is based on a piece from our recently released Digital Evidence 101 white paper bundle.

        In this post we will focus on securing fair, just and accurate rulings, and what needs to be considered when evaluating body-worn camera solutions to accomplish that.

        Body-Worn Video Evidence Admissibility Requires Chain-of-Custody Validation

        “Law enforcement must also work with other partners, such as the courts and prosecutors, to determine legal requirements regarding chain of custody and admissibility. Evidence is of little use to the criminal justice system when it is ruled to be improperly obtained after the fact.”

        Just as with physical evidence, steps must be taken, from capture to courtroom, to ensure that digital evidence is valid and untainted. These steps are essential to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system and reinforce the public’s confidence.

        For any evidence used in a case, there has to be a validated chain-of-custody to avoid the risk of the evidence being ruled inadmissible in court. Handoffs of digital evidence throughout its journey from capture, to storage to use in court, must be evaluated for its security posture. Starting with the device, you should know how the BWC was authenticated on the system, from what point chain-of-custody can actually be validated for the evidence and whether the digital evidence is encrypted while at-rest on the BWC.

        It is also important to consider the storage, processing, and sharing stages of digital evidence handoffs. For instance, if using Wi-Fi for efficient upload to the cloud for storage, it is critical that the Wi-Fi access point is secure. Digital evidence should also be encrypted in-transit to the cloud as well as at-rest in the cloud, just as it was on the device.

        Throughout digital evidence processing and review activities, policies should be in place that determine who has access to digital evidence and how they are able to access it. Any actions taken with that digital evidence should be audit-logged, and an option for chain-of-custody validation should be presented during any interaction with a file. When digital evidence is shared for case prosecution, an original copy of the evidence should always be retained, along with any redacted or edited versions sent to your judicial partner that are required to protect personally identifiable information.

        Check back in later on as we dive into our last consideration and discuss how it can be achieved. In the meantime, if you missed our first post on generating objective digital evidence from BWCs, check it out here. If you can’t wait and want the full paper on how to successfully use body-worn video evidence in court now, visit our Digital Evidence 101 page for that exclusive content plus much more!

        Jason Hutchens is the Former Director of the Planning and Assessment Division at Indiana Homeland Security, and is a Current Public Safety Industry Expert at Motorola Solutions.

      • Solving Two Homicides Cements The Value Of Crime Analysis

        Published 5 days ago by Jeff O'Dell
        • Intelligence
        • Crime Analytics

        Implementing intelligence-led policing and CommandCentral Analytics was a new thing for our officers. And you know cops. You can ask them to go out and patrol a neighborhood or maybe check businesses based on what the analytics say, but until they have that first success, they may or may not buy into the new philosophy or technology.

        But, that one success will make all the difference.

        Early on, there was an unfortunate situation we encountered. We had some kids that were going around and randomly shooting at houses and even at people. It was the first time in a long time that not only the entire agency worked together but we worked very well with the Sheriff’s Office to share information and combine our resources to go capture these kids.

        Within 17 days from the first round that they fired out of their gun, we had them captured, had them arrested and solved two homicides. I think that was a huge eye-opener for our agency to say, “Wait a minute, you know, this stuff does work. When we use analysts and we share information and when we talk and work collectively, we’re much better than if we try to do it by ourselves.” We were able to give our officers better information to direct their focus and give them a purpose. We had that first, critical success, and now they’ve bought in.

        To learn more about our story, visit

        Jeff O’Dell is Chief of Police at Kissimmee Police Department in Kissimmee, FL.

      • The Power of Crime Analytics Takes Down a Burglary Ring

        Published 5 days ago by Metre Lewis
        • Intelligence
        • Crime Analytics

        As Crime Analysts, we are the hub for all information. A lot of information comes to us from not only our agency, but from other agencies as well, and we are responsible for digesting that and sending it back out to our officers in a usable form.

        With the introduction of CommandCentral Analytics, we have been able to come in and be more proactively responsive to crime. We’re not responding 10 days later, we’re responding immediately to what’s going on. We’re able to direct resources immediately to a crime problem, solve that crime problem by either displacing it or making an arrest and make people feel safe.

        One specific example is when we had a series of restaurant burglaries that were occurring. With the help of CommandCentral Analytics we were able to give our detectives and officers a list of where we thought the next crimes were going to occur. We made a significant arrest in just a matter of weeks and with that, we found a complete burglary ring out of Texas operating here in Florida.

        CommandCentral Analytics has changed the way we do our jobs immensely. It’s taken a lot of the manual processes that we would have to do like trying to figure out the time of day and event that’s happening. We can actually look at all of that disparate information in one place and analyze from there. That’s the power of CommandCentral Analytics.

        To learn more about our story, visit

        Metre Lewis is a Crime Analyst at Kissimmee Police Department in Kissimmee, FL.

      • Survey Says: Services Increase Two-Way Radio Performance

        Published 10 days ago by Nupur Thakur
        • Services

        If you’re maintaining a few hundred APX two-way radios, or thousands, keeping all of them working properly is not an easy task. It takes special coordination, time and expertise.  

        To help us better understand customer radio management decision-making, we surveyed our APX radio users across the U.S. and highlighted the findings in the 2017 Motorola Solutions APX Two-Way Radio Management Survey.

        What did we find? Radio managers of both small and large fleets face similar challenges. Budgets constraints, lack of technical resources and programming complexities are challenges for both in-house and third-party radio management. However, forward-looking agencies of all sizes are realizing the benefits of leveraging services to assist their in-house technical staff or to provide expert resources to manage their radio fleets.

        Top 3 Benefits of Using Radio Services:

        1. Services Provide Technical Expertise for In-house Personnel

        Survey respondents indicated 73% manage radios with in-house personnel. However, radio managers are challenged with having to juggle all the duties—and additional responsibilities—that come with the job. Typically, the technical staff tasked with the job is a small team relative to the amount of work. They must keep up with needed technical skills, understand how to optimize the latest radio features, and keep track of constant talk group changes as employees and even their own team members come and go.

        Services provide expert help to support your in-house technical staff. You can get access to technical experts who are using state-of-the-art diagnostics equipment and repair tools to troubleshoot problems and properly restore your two-way radios. Our experts function as an extension of your in-house technical team, or as a source for all technical support. Flexible service options are designed to support your needs and budget requirements.

        2. Services Reduce Programming Time and Accelerate Deployment   

        Radio managers are constantly faced with increasing programming demands that involve physically touching each radio to complete updates. With hundreds or thousands of radios, programming can take weeks or even months to update—and may be outdated by the time all changes are made. This is a time consuming, costly and inefficient use of resources for the 58% of survey respondents that reprogram their radio fleet once or more every year.

        Services can support your existing radio management staff. This includes a dynamically different way to speed up radio programming by as much as 90%. Imagine...making template changes that are done all at once, eliminating the need to handle each radio one-at-a-time. And, storing radio changes online to ensure your data is backed up. You no longer need multiple spreadsheets to keep track of changes. No more worries about lost data.  

        Your radio management team will be thoroughly trained to become expert radio programmers that spend only 10% of the time they formally spent on reprogramming.

        3. Services Prevent Radio Downtime

        To prevent downtime and ensure small issues don’t grow into larger problems, you should have a proactive maintenance schedule for your radio fleet. We were surprised to discover over 70% of survey respondents only perform radio hardware maintenance on an as-needed basis. This may mean something breaks, and then they fix it.

        Preventive maintenance ensures your radios are functioning properly. If you don’t have the proper radio staff or tools, you can have expert professionals manage your the entire radio fleet to transfer responsibility and risk. Managed services professionals provide radio maintenance, repair, programming, technical support and more—so you can rest assured your radios are available at all times.

        Services Increase Performance, Lower Risk and Achieve Better Outcomes

        2017 Motorola Solutions APX Two-Way Radio Management Survey found clear interest in using services to successfully manage two-way radios. And for good reason. Services improve radio reliability while reducing the cost and time of managing radios.  

        Want to learn more about the benefits of two-way radio services?

        Look: View this video to see how expert services help increase radio performance.  

        Listen: Prerecorded webinar provides a transformational case study on how to reduce programming time and accelerate deployment of your radios.

        Learn: Read this paper to learn how you can implement a two-way radio plan to increase uptime, and control costs.

        Nupur Thakur is Senior Director of Services Offer Management at Motorola Solutions.

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