Senior Account Manager, Smart Public Safety Solutions
With 34 years of law enforcement experience, Kevin Lemke hasn’t just listened to customers’ challenges – he’s lived them. Now as Motorola’s Senior Account Manager in Wisconsin, he leverages that expertise to help Public Safety customers find and finance the technological solutions that help keep first responders safe.
Traffic Incident Management Program Manager, Wisconsin DOT, Lakeside Engineers
Retired Deputy Chief of Police, Fond du Lac, WI Police Department
FBI National Academy
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
Criminal Justice Executive Development Institute, Fox Valley Technical College
As a Police Officer for the city of Fond du Lac in Wisconsin, Kevin Lemke experienced one of the scariest moments of his life when the city’s new radio network went down. Police and fire personnel were not able to call for help, correspond with other on-duty officers or receive instructions from command staff. Anything could have happened… from a hostage situation to a brawl, from an accident to a fire, officers would be left alone without their lifeline, their mission critical radio. Based on this experience, Kevin understands how critical it is for a public safety networks to function at all times.
After dedicating 34 years to law enforcement, Kevin retired as the Deputy Chief of Police for the city of Fond du Lac, WI. He began his career as a police dispatcher and climbed the ranks of police officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and major before retiring as the Deputy Chief of Police. In his most recent role with the city, his responsibilities included managing over 80 police personnel and coordinating the department’s technology, voice and data communication programs, including the planning, building and operations of the city’s Emergency Operations Center and digital P25 trunked voice communication system.
The position opened his eyes to his love of bringing various people and organizations together, balancing their different needs, opinions and objectives and finding a solution to benefit them all. Now, as a Senior Account Manager at Motorola, Kevin is able to leverage his experience and enthusiasm for communications and problem solving to help his customers solve their communications challenges.
Kevin has a true appreciation for just how important mission-critical communications are in Public Safety, and he brings a unique level of understanding to every conversation. He enjoys sitting down with each customer, listening to their challenges and helping them find the best solution. He brings together Motorola’s internal and external resources in order to help customers find solutions that best meet their needs and objectives. He assists customers every step of the way from understanding their technology needs to developing financing options.
There is more information available today than ever before. How can my agency turn that data into actionable intelligence?
Almost every police agency out there wishes that they either had a way to or could improve their intelligence led policing efforts. Relevant and timely data can really make the difference when officers and command staff are making decisions to allocate their limited resources, which ultimately impact the safety of our communities. The key is relevant data. At times, officers can be overwhelmed with data. In order to help officers focus on the data that will truly assist them in making informed and better decisions, some departments are lucky to have a crime analyst on hand to help guide officers with their data intelligence needs. Too often the crime analyst only has enough time to focus on the department’s general data needs or just the most important issues of the day. Officers need to be able to easily access and analyze data themselves as they might not have access to a crime analyst. Plus, officers do not have time to figure out the sometimes complicated methods of data analysis.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2014 International Chiefs of Police Conference in Orlando. I was amazed by the large number of companies providing intelligence led policing software and services. I know it is extremely difficult for police managers to make informed decisions on which products and services will meet their needs and fit within their budgets. I believe that Motorola Solutions is pushing the envelope with our mission critical intelligence solutions. When you look at the future of the connected police officer with next generation integrated command and control systems and tie it into real time crime center solutions, Motorola can bring public safety communications, video and intelligence led policing into one truly integrated system.
In light of the recent industry dialogue about body-worn cameras for law enforcement, do you believe that wearable cameras are as beneficial to police officers as they are to the community?
I do not believe that the body-worn camera alone will be the holy grail of documenting and justifying the actions of our police officers. There must be a multi-faceted approach, which includes squad car video and audio, body-worn cameras, and good supporting policy & training in the proper use of these devices. Our communities and especially the citizens we serve will expect every police officer to have these tools available to them and use them properly. The body-worn camera can be an extremely effective tool. It has been shown to reduce civil and criminal liability when used properly which can improve relations between the police force and the community.
I have been very impressed with Motorola’s partnership with the VieVu LE3 video Camera. It is now used in about 85% of police departments in the US who now use body-worn cameras. The VieVu is small and lightweight, easy to operate, reasonably priced and comes with free software management tools.
Where is the future of public safety communications heading and how long will my equipment last?
Public safety managers, rightfully so, are worried about their investments in new public safety communications infrastructure and subscriber radio equipment. They want to know how long their technology investments will last. Our customers’ return on investment (ROI) is top priority. I always knew that Motorola built great radios and communications systems. I had used Motorola radios throughout my whole career in law enforcement. I know that public safety managers and those who maintain complex communications systems need to justify their purchases. Total cost, value, durability, and sustainability are all part of the equation that determines the customer’s return on investment. Sometimes agencies may be looking at cost as the only factor in making their purchasing decisions. I really try and help my customers understand that their total return on investment is crucial when buying technology solutions and goes beyond just the initial cost of the product.
Our line of APX mobile and portable radio solutions are truly a product that offers a great return on investment. The APX line of radios is rugged, easy to operate, and offers noise suppression that is a great value not only to the end user but to those who fund those purchases. Today’s radios are hardened computers that run applications and can be upgraded with new firmware and software as the needs of the agency or radio system change. The APX radio will be in service providing mission critical communications for a long time to come.
I am really excited for the future of public safety technology. I think the connected police officer of the future will be provided critical information and allow a way for those who support his mission to watch over and provide resources, especially in the times that matter most. It will be possible to monitor a police officer when he leaves the squad car allowing support personnel to follow along with 3D GPS location, monitor heart rate, blood pressure and breathing for signs of stress as well as know when an officer has removed his gun or taser. Command staff will know when a gun was actually deployed by either a suspect or the officer. With the use of real-time video, managers and dispatchers will have the ability to view the incident allowing resources such as EMS and back-up officers to respond to the exact location.