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      • What's the Price of Safety? Video Surveillance States Its Case

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:18 PM by Motorola Solutions

        The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) earlier this year asked police chiefs “How are Innovations in Technology Transforming Policing?” And 46% of departments surveyed said they use real-time video monitoring in their community, including:

        • 26% use it for investigative purposes
        • 23% use it during traffic stops
        • 19% use it to respond to a call for service

        Agencies are already broadly using video for investigative and evidentiary purposes after an incident, and when dispatchers are able to see real-time video, they can also respond more efficiently with the right resources and backup. Moving beyond real-time, video analytics are now even helping some agencies predict problems and respond more quickly or even prevent an incident before it occurs.

        In addition to these benefits, video systems can further reduce crime through deterrence. Looking at the total benefit of video, a brief by the Urban Institute shows that $4.30 can be saved in terms of criminal justice costs and victims’ financial and emotional cost for every $1 spent on cameras in high crime areas. In the future, communications center personnel will be able to use real-time video and other sources of information from throughout the city, correlated by powerful analytics that turn information into intelligence, and deliver it rapidly to first responders where it is needed most.

        At the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference this week in San Diego, Motorola will be demonstrating how video can be efficiently captured, analyzed and streamed back out to mobile responders in the field. If you are in San Diego, stop by Booth 2104 and check it out. You can also learn more by downloading our Build Safer Cities and Thriving Communities whitepaper.

        Alan Lopez is Director of Government Solutions Marketing for Motorola Solutions.

        Keep up with news from IACP this year by following @MotPublicSafety and hashtag #IACP2012 on Twitter.


      • FCC Narrowbanding: Important Clarifications to Consider

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:18 PM by Al Ittner

        As noted in my previous blog, I moderated a Narrowbanding Panel at the APCO Annual Conference on August 21. Roberto Mussenden, the FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau point of contact for narrowbanding, pointed out that there has been a lot of progress by licensees. Both the total number and the percent of public safety licensees that are still licensed at 25 kHz-only operation have been more than cut in half over the last two years. However, there are still about 35%, or roughly 37,000, licenses in the FCC database that are 25 kHz emission-only licenses.

        If you are one of these, you need to immediately submit to the FCC either (1) a license modification application to include 12.5 kHz or better emission designators, or (2) a waiver request to continue operating temporarily at 25 kHz beyond the Jan. 1, 2013 deadline. The only exceptions are 12.kHz or 6.25 kHz equivalent efficient systems that operate on 25 kHz channels. Roberto emphasized that last-minute waiver requests will “be viewed with skepticism and not likely granted.” He also urged licensees to check their license data in the database and advise the FCC licensing bureau if there are any errors. Finally, he let the attendees know that the FCC Enforcement Bureau will soon issue guidance reminding licensees of their obligation and of the FCC’s intent to aggressively enforce the mandate. That FCC Enforcement Advisory No. 2012-05 was indeed issued on August 22.

        The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) Board of Directors, of which I am a member representing TIA, met on Sept. 12 with FCC staff to address this and other outstanding issues. Here is the latest feedback from that meeting by FCC staff responsible for narrowbanding.

        1. At some time after the deadline, the FCC will likely conduct an audit of remaining 25 kHz licensees to confirm that they are narrowband compliant. Licensees not properly answering the audit letter will have their licenses cancelled.
        2. As mentioned in the last blog, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) requested and is still waiting for the FCC to clarify that it will include and accept 25 kHz mode in new applications for equipment certifications to operate in the 470-512 MHz T-Band. The FCC is drafting a decision to be routed to all three bureaus, and expects to have such decision issued by the end of October.
        3. The FCC has not yet made a decision on LMCC’s proposal that, effective Feb. 1, 2013, frequency coordinators will no longer consider non-compliant 25 kHz narrowbanded systems still operating in Part 90 VHF (150-174 MHz) and UHF (421-470 MHz) channels for purposes of identifying exclusive frequency assignments within centralized trunked systems, absent evidence of license applications or waivers seeking an extension of the narrowbanding deadline.

        The FCC plans to issue additional Public Notices (PN) soon, once again reiterating the Jan. 1, 2013 deadline requirements and consequences. It will likely also address these and other requested clarifications in such PNs.

        Al Ittner discussed Narrowbanding from APCO 2012 in Minneapolis: pco-2012/1853848971001

        For more information about Narrowbanding, please visit

        Al Ittner is Senior Manager of Spectrum Strategy at Motorola Solutions, Inc.

      • A More Stressful Workplace: Get Your Operations Staff Ready for NG9-1-1

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:18 PM by Karen Carlson

        The caller is frantic. There's the sound of a door breaking and a cry: "He's inside!" Live video from the caller's phone appears on the PSAP console screen. The dispatcher watches as the intruder stares into the camera, raises a gun, and…

        A stressful job is about to become even more stressful. You've heard the buzz about NG9-1-1 technology and you've wondered about funding (who hasn't?) But there's another challenge to face. How will you prepare your operations staff to work in an environment where 9-1-1 calls are no longer voice-only?

        It's a three-car pile-up with serious injuries and callers send photos from the scene. There's a child's car seat, dented and broken, in the median, and the call taker can't help but look closer…

        Experiences that involve multiple senses – hearing and seeing – are more likely to hit our emotions and stick in our memories. Even the most experienced and well-trained PSAP staff haven't dealt with photos and video before. Text messages pose other issues: How do you ask follow-up questions and scope the situation when you can't hear the caller's tone of voice?

        Preparing your team for NG9-1-1 requires a lot of groundwork, so it makes sense to start planning now.

        Some points to consider:

        Business operations: Old job categories may need rethinking. Maybe some positions should specialize in handling video and photos, while others handle text and still others handle voice calls. Some jurisdictions plan to have light-duty police officers answer video calls, at least in the early stages when PSAP personnel have not received special training. This is a matter for discussion with unions and relevant government entities.

        Stress management: Expect more frequent critical stress debriefings and long-term psychological counseling, and budget accordingly. Take stock of all the things you do now (or could do) to mitigate stress – workplace design, break schedules, opportunities to step away from the desk and go outside. Establish a way for staff to learn the outcomes of incidents, since not knowing what happened can be a stressor. Learn about industry best practices for stress mitigation through the 911 Wellness Foundation or many other groups. Just google "Stress Management in 911".

        Hiring, training and certification: Keep guiding your team on the road to professional excellence. Find new hires who are flexible and ready to learn. Bring staff up to speed on available training. Look into NENA education. A staffer who is confident on the job is more resilient when bad things happen. Make it clear to everyone that there are challenges ahead, but you have their backs.

        The NG9-1-1 workplace will be stressful, no doubt about it. But it will also empower your people with new tools for serving and protecting the public. That's a positive change we can all feel good about.

        Karen Carlson is Senior Product Manager for Motorola's PremierOne portfolio. Prior to working at Motorola, Karen managed a municipal communications center, consolidated four PSAPs into one, and managed a multi-county consortium for public safety communications.

      • Remembering 9/11 Prompts Maryland to Take Action

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:18 PM by Motorola Solutions

        Every day I feel honored to know that the systems we provide to public safety help keep the communities we live in safe. When Gov. Martin O'Malley recently made the initial call on Maryland FiRST, the state's new interoperable public safety radio system, it also marked the achievement of Maryland's primary homeland security goal.

        The Maryland governor made the first call to state police from the base of the Baltimore World Trade Center, where there is also a memorial to the 68 Marylanders who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001. He said it was the events of that day that prompted the state of Maryland to develop "12 Core Competencies for Homeland Security", with the construction of a statewide radio system connecting first responders at the very top of the list.

        Learning from that terrible day in our nation's history, Maryland officials developed plans to build Maryland FiRST, a radio system for police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other first responders across the state. The system will allow them to talk to one another during disasters as well as during day-to-day operations, when interoperable communications also are crucial for protecting citizens and saving lives.

        As a Motorola employee, I feel proud of the work our company does to help communities across the nation build interoperable communication systems for first responders. I have been involved with the Maryland FiRST project from the very beginning, working with all the teams involved in the design and installation of the system. Phase I of the new system will be completed by the end of this year when testing and user training are completed. The first phase will cover most of Maryland's critical infrastructure, which is located along the state's I-95 corridor, including Baltimore's seaport and airport and the city's tunnels and bridges, as well as more than 2 million people. The entire system, stretching from Maryland's Eastern Shore to the mountain region in the western part of the state, will be finished by 2016.

        In Baltimore, the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland has three twisted and torn steel columns from the New York World Trade Center in memory of the Marylanders who were lost at the three locations of the terrorist attacks. They rest on blocks of marble that once were pieces of the Pentagon, along with three large pieces of polished black granite representing the Pennsylvania site. These features stand as constant reminders that we must be forever vigilant against attacks on our shores. Maryland FiRST also is a tribute to those who were lost on Sept. 11th because the new, statewide interoperable digital radio system will help first responders stay ready and always connected to one another for their safety – and all of ours.

        Debora Courtright is vice president of North America Government Markets for Motorola Solutions, Inc.