FRESH IDEAS IN PUBLIC SAFETY


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      • At 9-1-1 Centers, Uninterrupted Workflow Can Save Time – and Save Lives

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:24 PM by Matthew Schreiner

        “9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

        “OH GOD! MY BABY’S NOT BREATHING!!! HELP ME! PLEASE!! HELP ME!!!”

        Those words will make the blood of even the most experienced 9-1-1 telecommunicator run cold. For the next few moments, the caller and the telecommunicator will be engaged in an emotion-filled, adrenalin-fueled dance designed to save the life of that baby, during which the telecommunicator must take the lead.

        For the caller, it could be the most important moment of their life; for the telecommunicator, while critically important, it must also be somewhat routine -- one of hundreds of such calls they might take in their career. The tools at the telecommunicators’ disposal must be designed to enhance their ability to remain in control of the moment as they capture, analyze, decide and act on the data they gather from the caller.

        Often the communications hub of police, fire and EMS operations, the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) user’s operating environment is characterized by real-time information processing, dynamic resource management and time-critical decision making. CAD design needs to focus on user interface (UI) components and implementation methods that facilitate communications and information management based on industry standards set by organizations such as APCO (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials) and National Emergency Number Association (NENA).

        Seamless integration of workflows and UI design is essential in supporting task execution and enhancing performance, including the following items:

        • Minimize the navigation and actions necessary for completing tasks

        • Provide consistent and efficient keyboard commands, shortcuts and navigation

        • Include design components that integrate information and support capabilities (for example, address verification and previous incident check)

        • Enable effective communications, while still being flexible enough to support alternate data and voice transmissions

        The Problem

        Most telecommunicators go through some version of the APCO 40-hour Telecommunicator course, during which they learn the basics of call control, and the ways to manage high-pressure, life-and-death situations like the one described above. Yet most products are designed using non-public safety data-entry protocols, demanding that operators enter data at specific times in a predefined workflow that is determined by the application, rather than to the standards specified by APCO and NENA. Systems may use a simple data entry form, or “mask” for call taking, but do nothing extraordinary with the follow-on forms and workflows associated with the basic Public Safety protocols for the call taking process, including:

        • Address Validation

        • Duplicate Incident Check

        • Premise / Hazard information

        • Previous Incident / Person / Vehicle information

        • Attachments

        • Unit Status Updates

        Throughout the process, operators are constantly stopped in their tracks by pop-ups and new forms displayed at various times in the process to manage the above workflows. Operators are forced to manage data in the way the application is designed to ask for it, rather than in the way they need to gather data depending on how the call they are managing as the moment unfolds. Most systems provide a one-size fits all approach to data entry. The application controls the operator’s actions, not the other way around. Additionally, in many situations, the telecommunicator is required to manage multiple calls and resources.

        They might have several calls on hold, and could be viewing other incidents for dispatched resources. Most systems provide no way for operators to clearly differentiate the multiple calls and all the associated forms that are on their plate, allowing for dangerous mixing of data. What call does this list of Previous Incidents belong to? Which resources need this Hazard information? In many systems, it requires an extra level of concentration and multi-tasking skill to successfully navigate all the data being presented to them in multiple forms, most of which look identical.

        The Solution

        It is crucial that Public Safety Application vendors take the time to fully understand the workflows and data needs of the various personas that make use of their applications. For example, use of a concept known as “Uninterrupted Workflow” is a purposeful design concept used in defining the workflow for all processes used by operators on the system. Some of the UI design considerations that facilitate uninterrupted workflow include:

        • Prevent too many overlapping windows from being open at the same time

        • Provide balanced functionality between two distinct work areas, a Primary Work Area and a Work Assist Area

        • Display task-critical information without requiring you to view or navigate to other windows

        • Permit you to easily switch between different tasks and services without losing track of ongoing activities with tabbed work objects "Uninterrupted workflow" means no pop-ups, no unexpected forms displayed, nothing happens – until the operator asks for it. The operator is always in control of what happens and when, allowing them to actually follow APCO and NENA guidelines for controlling calls and managing the process of capturing, analyzing, deciding and acting on the data being gathered from callers. When the concepts of uninterrupted workflow are applied to mission-critical public safety applications, such as CAD, telecommunicators are free to enter address data when they want to enter it, not when the application asks for it. They can manage premise/hazard information when it’s convenient and makes sense for them to do so, all the while being able to continue gathering crucial data from the caller in the call entry forms.

        Conclusion

        Uninterrupted workflow design elements allow public safety operators to remain in control of emergency calls, in the manner in which they are trained to do so. It reduces confusion and simplifies the call-taking and incident management workflows. Through the use of novel UI design, operators control the application’s workflow, not the other way around, which will lead to better, more efficient emergency call handling, and more lives saved.

        Learn how Motorola Solutions’ PremierOne™ CAD helps agencies improve response times, efficiently allocate resources and better inform first responders – all by leveraging the Uninterrupted Workflow design elements.

        Matthew Schreiner is PremierOne Product Management lead for Customer Experience at Motorola Solutions.

        Learn more here about the PremierOne CAD Solutions.

      • Meet Motorola's Volunteer Firefighters

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:24 PM by Motorola Solutions

        Today, nearly 70 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers. These men and women make daily sacrifices to protect and serve all of us every day. It takes a special type of person to be a volunteer firefighter. They do the things that most of us won’t. It’s an intentional decision to receive the middle-of the night calls and wake up to give everything they have.At Motorola Solutions, we’re proud to support the Fire Service, and our commitment shows through the actions of our employees. We’re lucky to not only serve as a provider and partner for communication technology solutions, but we have many employees who are also volunteers for their local fire departments. With FRI 2014 this weekend, we thought it was a perfect time to honor their service by introducing them and asking them three questions about volunteering as firefighters. First, here are some of the Motorola Solutions employees who volunteer or have volunteered with their local fire departments.Matthew BusaSenior Product Manager for Motorola Solutions working on APX Portable Portfolio including XE product line Volunteer with the Plantation Fire Department as a Volunteer Firefighter/Paramedic currently holding the rank of LieutenantKevin EriksenProduct Consultant with the North American Parts Organization for Motorola Solutions33-year veteran and Captain of the Cary, IL Fire Protection District, a Certified Firefighter III and EMT-B Craig TunjianMechanical Designer III for Motorola Solutions in the Data Capture Solutions (DCS) group in Holtsville, N.Y.Member of the Middle Island Volunteer Fire Department for 26 years, has served as a firefighter, Chief, Fire Commisioner, and the Motorola Emergency response TeamMartin SebelMechanical Inspector in the Quality Group for Motorola SolutionsA 38-year member of the Terryville, NY Volunteer Fire Department, is a Captain, was an EMT for 20 years, and presently is a senior technical advisor for the junior fire company instructing future firefighters in safe ways of fire fighting and basic rescue techniques. Steve MarriottAccount Manager, Government and Public Safety with Motorola Solutions in Sydney, AustraliaVolunteer firefighter with the NSW Rural Fire Service for almost 19 years as a firefighter, Crew Leader, Group Leader, Strike Team Leader and Airborne Systems Operator.Joe NammSenior Staff Systems Engineer for APX platform for Motorola SolutionsVolunteer with City of Plantation fire department for 21 years, currently serving as Battalion ChiefMark KrizikPrincipal Staff Engineer within the Government and Public Safety sector of Motorola SolutionsCurrently a Lieutenant, paramedic and the EMS Coordinator for the Posen, IL Fire Department.See Mark setting up radios for an event with the Schaumburg FD in this Vine: https://vine.co/v/bnjr3J7FpJ7Gene CaulfieldSr. Account Manager, Fire Markets Team for Motorola SolutionsA firefighter for 17+ years with the Wharton, NJ Fire Department holding many officer positions from Lieutenant in 2003 to Chief of the Department in 2008.Jerry NapolitanoPrincipal Architect with Motorola Global SolutionsElected Fire Commissioner of The Eastchester, NY Fire District Jack DevereauxSolution Sales Executive, Public Safety for Motorola SolutionsServed as a Volunteer Fire Fighter in the Borough of Fort Lee, NJ from 1976 to 1989, Life Member of Ladder Company 3, 557 Main Street, Fort Lee, NJ 07024, Honorary Battalion Chief - FDNY Appointed May 2011Matt LiProject engineer with the Australia & New Zealand Systems Integration team, specializing in P25 systems and subscribers.A volunteer firefighter with the Country Fire Authority in Victoria, Australia for the past 7 yearsDarran M HandshawMechanical Design Engineer for Data Capture SolutionsCurrent Fire Lieutenant with Sound Beach FD in Long Island, NY with 15 years of collective fire experience, 10 as an EMT We're very proud to be able to call these volunteers our colleagues. We asked them three questions about volunteering as a firefighter, and here's what they said.What called you to the Fire Service?Darran M Handshaw: "There has always been a challenge to the job that appeals to the engineer in me; the high risk problem solving, the rapid decision making and the fact that every situation is unique is something that keeps it very interesting to me. Plus, when I grew up, my late father, Gordon Handshaw, was a Fire Chief and I got to see firsthand how his work helped our hometown community."Joe Namm: "I always wanted to drive a fire truck and blare the air-horns! Initially, I became a firefighter to expose myself to new experiences, but after I short time I realized how much I enjoyed helping others. There are many ways to serve the community, but I found this was a great way to serve in a capacity that is immediately recognized and appreciated."Martin Sebel: "Every kid dreams of becoming a cop or a fireman and I followed my dream. The excitement, the urgency, the charge you get, the fact that I am helping in a situation where others can't makes you realize all your work and training was worth it."Steve Marriott: "In 1994, Sydney experienced one of the worst wildfire events in its history, with the city literally ringed by fire. Having seen the great work of the volunteer firefighters on the news night after night, I decided to see if I could help out."Tell us about when you, as a volunteer, were able to help someone in a moment that mattered.Steve Marriott: "My very first call-out was to a house that had been struck by lightning, setting the VCR and the curtains on fire. We managed to confine the fire to one room, and the resident had tears streaming down her face as she thanked us for saving the rest of her house. There have been many similar moments since then, but that one in particular has stayed with me for the last 19 years."Joe Namm: "I have had the opportunity to help many people, but not as a sole rescuer. Along with a team of firefighters, I have rescued many trapped car accident victims, drowning victims, and fire victims. The outcomes have not always been positive, too often we don’t have the opportunity to rescue but instead have to recover victims. I remember these incidents more than the successful ones – especially when there are young victims. The fire department is considered multi-purpose, we're problem solvers and are called when no other agency has a solution. We drive a big toolbox around and fix all kinds of problems everyday."Martin Sebel: "The instance that sticks out for me is when a homeowner asked me if it was possible for me to try to find a specific box ina closet. My crew and I after the situation was under control did in fact find the box, and we returned it to the greatful homeowner. The look of relief on his face made my job all the more rewarding. Now, I to this day still have no idea what was in that box, but it was very important to them, and that was all that mattered."How has your volunteer Fire Service experience helped you better serve your Motorola Solutions customers?Joe Namm: "As an engineer, you think you have a perspective on how the customer uses your products. As a customer, you know how you expect your products to operate. As our products become increasingly complex, there is a tendency to overwhelm the user with 'improved functionality.' Customers want simplified, intuitive solutions that offload some of the workload and reduce cognitive overload. As I develop new features, I always ask how the feature can be more intuitive, requiring less configuration and control while still serving the user with a valuable function."Darran M Handshaw: "I’ve been lucky to be called upon as a fire market consultant on several different projects where I’ve been able to give valuable feedback from my perspective as a firefighter/EMT and mechanical engineering designer. With my connections at the local fire academy, I was able to put together hands-on training so that some of my coworkers working on emergency services products were able to go into burning buildings and see how we do our job. I was also lucky to work with a team of gifted engineers to create and help design a cutting edge firefighting product that came out of the CTO group and is still under development pending productization."Steve Marriott: "Public Safety customers have very specific requirements due to the often life-critical environments in which they work. Knowing these environments allows me to ensure that any solutions I propose are going to be fit-for-purpose, and able to be relied upon when it really matters. The feedback I have received from my customers is that they really appreciate the fact that I truly understand their day-to-day business."Thank you to all of these volunteers who work for Motorola Solutions, and thank you to all the volunteer firefighters around the country for your selfless service. If you’re at FRI 2014 this weekend in Dallas, please stop by booth 3525 and meet some of our volunteers. You can experience the innovative communications technology solutions we have to offer the Fire Service as a result of asking firefighters what they needed, experiencing what firefighters do every day, and of course, listening to the many volunteer firefighters who work for Motorola Solutions. Dhiren Chauhan is Manager, Fire & EMS, Motorola SolutionsFor more information on Motorola’s Fire & Emergency Services products and solutions, please visit http://www.motorolasolutions.com/fire.Read other blogs by Dhiren Chauhan here.

      • RSVP for 'Training' for the Life of Your Public Safety Solution

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:24 PM by Motorola Solutions

        White lace tablecloths lay on the dining table; a dozen gold roses peek from the center vases; long-stemmed wine glasses create a colorful reflection from the dinner plates; apple cinnamon candles and classical music color the elegant atmosphere. It’s the complete package of exquisite dining accomplished with detailed preparation, presentation, and service.

        Purchasing a complete, technological solution is comparable to hosting an elegant dinner. Your early preparation guarantees
        quality results. It’s important to plan the list of food and decorative components early so that you have everything you need when cooking and setting the table, and important to detail your agency’s requirements before you settle on a solution.

        Incorporating training into the lifecycle of your public safety solution is just like creating a grocery list of important ingredients to serve a delicious, four-course meal. Your solution is made up of distinct components that work together to drive efficiency and operational value. As the art of cooking evolves, your ingredients change. As technology evolves, training on your upgrades will keep your solution current, valuable and efficient.

        To understand the benefits of lifecycle management, think of your solution like fine china: a rarity, with a specific use and sentimental value, requiring proper care. Neglect can lead to expensive replacement costs, and some components may even be irreplaceable. Remember, custom china is not interchangeable, due to different materials, craftsmanship and age of
        the pieces – so taking care of that china is of paramount importance. Your solution requires proper care, and upgrades should be supported with training to ensure the best operational care and quality throughout its entire lifespan
        .

        Purchasing a solution goes far beyond the surface of a monetary expense. The return on your investment comes through the training on your solution upgrades so that you are always equipped to use, manage and maintain each component now and 10 years into the future.

        As the saying goes, “If you can’t go to Italy, bring Italy to your doorstep.” By bringing superior professional service to your solution upgrades and training onsite, you will get the optimal value and quality from your public safety solution – just as you would from your best-planned and most elegant dining experience.

        Learn more about our training services by visiting the Learning Management System for additional course details and information.

        Anissa Evans is a Marketing & Communications Manager for the Americas Learning Organization at Motorola Solutions. (She also throws amazing dinner parties.) Please leave your questions or comments about our Learning courses in the comments below this blog, and sign up now to receive future blogs.

      • DVRS: Not the Box that Records Television Shows

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:24 PM by Motorola Solutions

        Keeping Firefighters Connected on the Fireground

        When many of us see the acronym “DVRS” our first thoughts might be of the technology that lets us watch last night’s The Daily Show when we wake up in the morning, special episodes of Breaking Bad we can’t bear to part with, a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory we missed last season, or maybe some trashy reality shows that we’ll get to during the next rainy day. And while the DVR, or Digital Video Recorder, has transformed the way we watch television, “DVRS” here refers to “Digital Vehicular Repeater System,” and it is a technology that extends radio communications on the fireground. Indeed, DVRS have themselves transformed the way firefighters stay connected and safe when battling fires.

        First, a bit of history.
        Mobile repeaters have been around since Motorola developed the first ones in 1972. They were very low power (much less than 1W), operated in a different band than the mobile, and had some very basic logic to attempt to handle multiple units at a scene. The best known was the PAC-RT. The typical user was a State Trooper performing a traffic stop, somebody who was on their own, did not go far from their vehicle, and did not mind having a portable in a different band. PAC-RT.JPG

        As you would imagine, these devices were unsuitable for most fire applications. In the late 1990’s this changed with the introduction of the Motorola/Futurecom VRS. It had the same power as a portable radio, was able to work “In-band” and had a sophisticated algorithm to handle multiple units at a scene. In 2005, it was replaced by the DVRS (Digital Vehicular Repeater System) which added P25 capability and a number of features of importance to the fire service.

        So what is a DVRS, exactly?
        At the most basic level the DVRS is a miniature conventional base station (that is the “DVR”) connected back to back to a mobile radio system (that’s the “S). It can work as a true repeater or as a base station, and can be programmed for either analog or P25, or even a couple of hybrid modes.

        What makes the DVRS different from all previous generations of mobile repeaters is that, in P25, it extends the network not just the audio to and from the network. Portables IDs pass on both PTT and emergency, they affiliate with trunking networks, and they networks “see” them to be the same as a portable directly on the network.

        Why Are They Used?
        DVRS are deployed for a number of reasons, but the primary one is to extend radio communications, followed by allowing the use of conventional and/or analog on the fireground. While there is no such thing as 100% radio coverage, and that goal is certainly something we continue to work towards, the challenge faced by the Fire Service is that their areas of highest risk, like large structures, are also the most difficult to provide radio coverage. Additionally, firefighters may be crawling on the ground, making coverage even more difficult to obtain.

        DVRS can frequently help with radio coverage inside buildings. There is no magic to how this works, it may just be easier for a portable radio to communicate with a DVRS parked outside the structure than with a tower site several miles away. As a rule of thumb, if you can talk portable to portable on a direct or simplex channel between somebody inside and somebody outside, then a DVRS will work for that structure. Additionally, due to the tactical nature of a DVRS, it can be positioned to provide optimal radio coverage. Many users report finding ‘sweet spots,’ and by positioning the DVRS in one of these locations, coverage is dramatically improved versus where a pumper might need to park. Additional steps can be taken if the required coverage isn’t achieved, but let’s save that for another discussion.

        The significant advantage of the DVRS over just going to a simplex channel is that is keeps the users on the network so that their communications and emergency activations are monitored and recorded by dispatch as well as others on the network. There are many instances where something important is missed on a busy, noisy fireground but is picked up at dispatch or by others monitoring the radio traffic.

        Interoperability
        The advent of the dual band portable radio, like Motorola’s APX series, has meant that the DVRS is not used quite as often for interoperability. However, a cross band repeater is still a very effective tool, that can be referred to as “instant interoperability” that is very easy for users to set up quickly.

        A unique application for fire can be using the DVR as a way to get VHF volunteer departments onto P25 700/800 networks. Users frequently have their own portables (which they may have purchased and may also double as pagers), so everybody purchasing their own P25 trunking portable is probably not feasible, but a VHF DVR connected to a 700/800 mobile would act as a gateway into the state network at a reasonable cost.

        P25 DVRS.JPGOver the past 15 years, improvements in technology have allowed over 300 fire departments to deploy mobile repeaters as key components in their radio networks. So while most of us will use a DVR to see what Jon Stewart had to say last night, remember that for firefighters, the DVRS is a valuable piece of communications equipment that keeps them connected on the fireground. You can see Motorola’s DVRS technology and speak with our experts this week at the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) Annual Conference and Expo, Fire Rescue International (FRI), from August 13 – 16.


        Dhiren Chauhan is Manager, Fire & EMS for Motorola Solutions

        Learn more about Motorola’s DVRS, and for more information on Motorola’s Fire & Emergency Services products and solutions, please visit http://www.MotorolaSolutions.com/fire.

        Read other blogs by Dhiren Chauhan here.

      • FRI 2014: What’s New, What’s Now, What’s Next?

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:24 PM by Motorola Solutions

        I’ll be in Dallas this week for the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) Annual Conference and Expo, Fire Rescue International (FRI), from August 13 – 16. On a personal note, it’s going to be bittersweet as this is my last year as Corporate Vice President of the Western Region representing Motorola Solutions and supporting the fire service as the Motorola Fire Executive before my retirement. I'm very excited for this year’s conference because there will be a lot of fun, innovative and moving events and demonstrations.

        The 45th Annual Benjamin Franklin Fire Service Award for Valor Presentation
        Thursday, Aug. 14, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. in the Omni Hotel, Dallas Ballroom
        Named after one of the first fire chiefs in the U.S., the Benjamin Franklin award is the IAFC’s most prestigious award, recognizing members of the fire service for their service, courage and heroism. The award is presented by Motorola in conjunction with the IAFC to honor a firefighter for his or her expert training, professional service and dedication to the duty of saving lives. The award winner and his department chief are treated to a VIP weekend at the conference.BenFranklin_Award_2.jpg That’s me on the left next to Chief Al Gillespie, former IAFC president, presenting the plaque to North Metro Fire Rescue Chief
        Joseph Bruce at the 2012 FRI conference.

        The Firefighter Throwdown
        Friday, Aug. 15 at 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 16 at 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Exhibit Hall A
        According to the August 2013 Firefighter Fatalities Report by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the primary cause of fire fatalities is stress and overexertion, taking 56% of firefighter lives in the line of duty. The purpose of the Firefighter Throwdown is to encourage health and fitness among the fire service. More than 70 firefighters will showcase their skills and fitness levels in the Wellness Zone equipped with everything from a DJ to top-tier exercise equipment. Motorola is proud to be a sponsor of this fun, entertaining and inspirational event.

        Leadership in Tough Times: Technology as a Force Multiplier
        Saturday, Aug. 16 at 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. in Convention Center Room C144
        Motorola Solutions’ Greg Lawlor and the Executive Director of Safety and Emergency Services of the Pinellas County Government, Bruce Moeller Ph.D., will be discussing key technologies and upcoming advancements to look forward to in order to transform your current fire rescue agency into a next generation fire rescue agency.

        Chiefs’ Roundtable
        Thursday, Aug. 14 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. in Convention Center Room A201
        I am honored to host the Chiefs’ Roundtable again this year. It’s an opportunity for you, the fire chiefs, to share your feedback on communications technology services, products and solutions. This is a great way for you to bring your thoughts and concerns directly to Motorola’s subject matter experts who design, create and build the products and solutions. We will preview what is currently in development and share where we are going as a company. I look forward to enjoying good food with good friends and great conversations that will help us better shape the future of our fire and EMS industry solutions.

        Finally, Motorola Solutions will be showcasing the latest in fire ground communications technology in booth # 3525 and highlighting the following solutions:
        WAVE interoperability platform
        • integration between the Intelligent Data Portal (IDP) and the PARC drone from CyPhy Works that can hover over incident scenes
        APX XE Remote Speaker Microphone (RSM) in conjunction with the high temperature Xtreme Temperature RSM Cable
        • the Scott Safety Air-Pak Accountability Solution which provides air tank telemetry to Incident Command through firefighters’ APX radios
        • the MINITOR VI pager
        • a demo of Smart Glasses from Recon Instruments and much more!

        Stop by on Friday and Saturday to see them for yourself. Make sure to follow @MotoSolutions and @MotPublicSafety on Twitter for the latest updates throughout the show, and use #FRI14 to join the conversation. If you cannot make it to Dallas this year, stay up to date on solutions for the Fire and EMS markets here on our Fresh Ideas in Public Safety blog.

        Kelly Kirwan is Corporate Vice President North America Government & Public Safety Markets, West Region for Motorola Solutions
        Motorola Solutions is proud to be a Five Bugle Sponsor and Diamond Partner of the FRI Expo in supporting the fire service that keeps our cities safe and allows our communities to thrive.
        Learn more about Motorola's Fireground Solutions.
        For more details about FRI 2014, please visit the FRI website.

      • Police Chief, Leader, Community Advocate: Saundra Rhodes is One Inspiring Woman

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:24 PM by Motorola Solutions

        Rhodes.jpg

        Chief Saundra Rhodes (left) is honored with the 2014 WoLEEY Award for Continued Excellence and Leadership in Law Enforcement.


        Congratulations to Chief Saundra Rhodes for her recognition as the 2014 Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year. Jointly sponsored by the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) and Motorola, the WoLEEY award honors an individual who has distinguished herself in the NAWLEE organization, her profession and her community. The recipient of the award epitomizes the values that NAWLEE stands for and represents the best of who we are as women and leaders.

        For years, women have made their mark in the public safety sector with their dedication to creating safer communities. To honor these exceptional women, I founded the WoLEEY Award in 2002 to recognize those that have shown remarkable commitment, leadership and mentoring excellence. This year we celebrate the contributions that this year’s recipient, Chief Saundra Rhodes, has made during her 21-year career, as well as the selfless contributions of other outstanding women in law enforcement.

        Chief Rhodes has exhibited sustained excellence over the course of her career. The first African American and female Police Chief for the Horry County (SC) Police Department, she is committed to driving change within the department and has led several progressive initiatives to build relationships with the community.

        She started her career in 1993 as an undercover narcotics agent, working as a substitute teacher during the day and a narcotics agent at night. Working her way up the ranks, Chief Rhodes has held positions of sergeant, lieutenant and captain throughout every division within the Horry County Police Department.

        Of all the positions that she has held, Community Policing has been her favorite; she believes it’s important for the Police Department to have a relationship with the community it serves, and that it assist the community in seeking solutions to solve problems. To help bridge the gap between the community and the HCPD, she established the Community Outreach Team. Members of the team attend numerous community events and are tasked with developing creative ideas to get more involved with the community and have a positive impact. One of the programs is “Shop with a Cop,” where police officers take children, identified by the school district as at risk or under-privileged, to shop at local Walmart stores during the Christmas holidays.

        Chief Rhodes is also committed to creating a workforce that is a direct reflection of the people they serve. She revamped the recruiting program to aggressively recruit qualified minority and female candidates, and officers now attend job fairs at colleges across South Carolina to recruit possible police officers.

        When Chief Rhodes took office more than two years ago, she also wanted to change the perception of the HCPD, as well as make it more transparent. In a short period of time, she implemented practices that have resulted in positive results, including changing the way that citizen complaints against police officers are taken and openly sharing information through traditional media outlets and
        social media, like Twitter and Facebook.

        "As I teach Criminal Justice, I really try to live what I am teaching, by putting theory into practice," Rhodes said.

        With her breadth of knowledge, commitment to serve and protect the community, and passion to mentor other officers, it is no surprise that Chief Rhodes is this year's WoLEEY Award recipient.

        Jackie Wasni is Vice President of Sales and Services for Motorola Solutions, Inc.

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