Law Enforcement Technology

JUL 2015

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10 Law Enforcement Technology July 2015 in to enable cross-system comms, some radio manufacturers started building multiple bands into their systems. As that was going on in the back- ground, the role mobile data terminals/ on-board computers played in day-to- day communications was growing by leaps and bounds. Less and less infor- mation was being provided by voice communication and more was being transmitted directly to the MDT screen. That, too, caused another evolving need— the need for management of all the data collected and mined. All too often we forget just how much informa- tion is available to be searched, analyzed, organized and fed back to the end user: the officer on the street. Which brings us to where we are today. I had opportunity to interview the President of Pryme Radio, Dave George, and he made a statement that was sur- prising but true: "Technology evolution far outpaces network implementation." Consider that for a moment. For every- thing law enforcement agencies are doing with technology today, far more technology is available—and being quickly developed—that we're not using. What stops us? Budgets, time constraints, political debates (over jurisdictions and decisions) and more prevent us from fully leveraging avail- able technologies. One thing that historically limited us was power supply. Since virtually every piece of tech we use depends on provided power, until battery technology grew sufficiently, we were leashed to a hard-wire power supply or a portable supply generator which was most often our patrol vehicle's engine. Batteries have also come a long way since the days of the NyCad. As Curt Quinter of IPT (Impact Power Technologies) points out, the NyCad battery provided good power within an acceptable temperature range, but it had serious memory problems. You could recharge it, but if you never fully discharged it "learned" to only work for a specific period of time rather than working to its full length capability. Battery technology evolved through nickel metal hydride (which was a little better than the NyCads) and into Lithium ion (which was good but proved temperature sen- sitive). Then, thanks to Quinter and his engineering team, the Lithium Polymer battery was born. Specifically developed to power two- way radios, the Lithium Polymer bat- tery has been repeatedly laboratory tested to provide reliable power for well over 24 hours per charge and sometimes as much as 32 hours or more in the field. More and more we see law enforcement communication tasks being potentially handled either via software on an MDT or via smart- phone app. When you think about Storm Trooper ® SPM-4200 Series Advanced Waterproof HD Platform Save 10% off your order at Circle 5 on Reader Service Card COMMUNICATIONS

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