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Entries » Blog » How technology is improving frontline police officer safety Author: Tunde Williams

How technology is improving frontline police officer safety Author: Tunde Williams

Created Apr 05 2019, 1:58 PM by Paul Jeffs

Every 6 minutes, a police officer in the UK presses their radio’s emergency button. With today’s TETRA digital radio technology, that single button press sets off a series of life-saving and automated actions:

  1. The officer’s location is shared with the control room
  2. The radio is assigned to an emergency talkgroup and given priority access to the network
  3. The radio’s microphone is activated, allowing colleagues to hear what’s happening

It goes without saying that for officers on the frontline, the two-way radio is their communications lifeline.  Frontline safety is a continuum and for over 90 years Motorola Solutions has been at the forefront of innovation, advancing mission-critical radio technology and pioneering new areas of cognitive research that explore human performance in high-stress environments.

As this new video highlights, technology advancement promises to further enhance the safety of frontline teams while also improving the effectiveness of incident response.

Multi-constellation satellite support will help reduce incident response times
A recent study by Loughborough University(1) highlighted achievable reductions in response times based on identifying the closest available resource. That study also showed potential improvements in response performance, from 94% to 97%, through the efficient use of frontline resources.

An accurate personnel positioning mechanism is vital to realising faster incident response. Modern tracking technologies that are integrated in next generation TETRA radios are able to increase positioning accuracy through the use of more than one Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). In particular, the GPS-GLONASS dual-GNSS receiver can enable a location accuracy of less than 2m - compared with a typical accuracy of ~10m for a GPS single-GNSS system. The high positioning accuracy provided by combined GPS-GLONASS receivers is crucial in urban settings in particular, as it could help determine which side of a street an officer in need of help is situated, and help to ensure a faster response.

Intelligent emergency alerting will improve officer safety in weak coverage areas
Many police forces deploy TETRA repeater gateways to ensure communications in areas with limited coverage such as in remote rural locations and indoor environments.  Repeater gateways implementations are typically based on mobile (vehicle) radios and may not always be available during an incident response.

For example, consider a police officer on a foot chase which leads into an underground car park.  While attempting to make an arrest, the suspect becomes violent and the officer tries to call for support using his radio. In such situations, lack of network coverage would put the officer’s personal safety at risk. To enhance personal safety, Motorola Solutions has developed an intelligent emergency alerting technology that will allow an emergency alert to be sent via direct mode (radio-to-radio communication) when a network signal is not present. As Motorola Solutions TETRA radios can be configured to scan both trunked mode talkgroups and direct mode talkgroups, colleagues within direct-mode range can receive the emergency alert and provide critical support to that officer. 

Advanced noise suppression will enhance frontline communications
Windy conditions and noisy environments, such as sporting events, can severely impact audio clarity, making it difficult for frontline officers to communicate effectively. While many officers are mandated to use ear-piece accessories for health and safety reasons, the radio’s microphone is often relied upon to transmit critical audio messages.

Using noise suppression technology, the effects of wind and background noise can be minimised - resulting in improved audio intelligibility in difficult environments. To ensure high quality speech, Motorola Solutions has developed advanced noise suppression technology that also minimizes the effect of wind hitting the microphone. The end result is clearer communications and safer frontline officers.

When selecting your next mission-critical TETRA radio, look for capabilities that enhance personal safety. We believe that safety is never too much.

To find out more check out this video:


…and visit our Frontline Safety website too:

Frontline Safety



Tunde Williams

Tunde Williams is Head of Marketing for Europe, Middle-East and Africa

Tunde is on LinkedIn


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References: (1) - S. Dunnett, J. Leigh, L. Jackson, (2018), Optimising police dispatch for incident response in real time,  Journal of the Operational Research Society

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