Highlights from APCO 2012

The 78th annual Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials conference was held Aug. 19-22 in Minneapolis. Many solutions on display for public safety included products aimed to improve Homeland Security, like video surveillance and mapping software as well as P25 Phase 2 systems and much more. Following are just a sample of some of the offerings to help first responders do their jobs safer and more efficiently. 


Harris Corporation integrated P25 (Project 25) Phase 2 solutions with the company’s VIDA network, delivering improved mission-critical interoperability. Harris P25 Phase 2 solutions are interoperable with P25 Phase 1 systems, P25 Phase 2 systems and future LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks.

The Harris P25 Phase 2 solution includes Enhanced Dynamic Dual Mode (EDDM) operation, which significantly improves site and system capacity for mixed mode operation, simultaneously supporting both Phase 1 and Phase 2 subscribers. Harris EDDM actively determines the most effective call processing at the individual site level rather than defaulting to the lowest common mode of operation across the entire system. EDDM enables Phase 1 calls on one site to interoperate with Phase 2 calls on a different site while using P25 technology at each specific location. This flexibility allows agencies to migrate to P25 Phase 2 at their own paces and budgets, while still taking advantage of the latest technology to deliver an optimal grade of service.

Another new Harris P25 site feature, Adaptive Site Resource Allocation, automatically adapts to system call demands and allocates site channel resources in the most efficient manner, based on customer-definable channel settings and the requested P25 technology. Adaptive Site Resource Allocation enables users to reserve channel resources for specific or combination of P25 technologies at the site level. This allows them to shape spectral and site efficiencies and protects the site from being totally consumed with a specific P25 technology.

“Harris has been an active and leading participant in the development of P25 Phase 2 standards to ensure our customers have the best and most reliable communications experience,” said Greg Henderson, director, Product Management, Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications. “The Harris P25 Phase 2 offering is unique because it provides users with improved interoperability, a seamless migration path and new features like Enhanced Dynamic Dual Mode and Adaptive Site Resource Allocation to improve how they communicate, coordinate and perform their duties.”

The Harris P25 Phase 2 solution offers unparalleled flexibility and system configuration that allows agencies to migrate to the latest technology at their own pace while maintaining optimal grade of service and maximizing user experience.


Helping to save lives, improving officer safety, and increasing effectiveness are just a few of the reasons the city of Cleveland turned to Motorola to upgrade its security. Motorola’s expandable camera system gives the Cleveland Police another set of eyes, turning video into intelligence. The Cleveland Shared Security Surveillance (CS3) program is a public-private partnership that allows security cameras to stream real-time information back to a police command vehicle, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and, as the program expands, to a dispatch center.

Cleveland’s project started in 2007 with a small wireless build and has evolved into a phased-in system that includes command vehicles, wireless cameras, incident correlation, wireless broadband integration, managed video services and more. Working with Motorola’s integrated services experts, Cleveland officials are expanding their video system to act as a crime deterrent. The forensic evidence gathered from the system has already helped Cleveland police solve crimes.

An International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) study has shown that 93 percent of officer misconduct charges are overturned by video evidence, and other research shows a majority of defendants plead out when their activities are captured on video. Motorola’s advanced video solutions allow first responders to view real-time, 24/7 visuals of their communities. They are given immediate access to view commercial districts, neighborhoods, high-risk areas, crowded public events, dangerous intersections, public transit vehicles and municipal buildings when they’re not physically on the scene. Live, mobile video streaming from the scene back to the command center or eventually to hand-held devices – such as Motorola’s LEX 700 Mission Critical Handheld – enhances coordination of efforts from all officers and response teams.

Funding from the Department of Homeland Security and other federal organizations has allowed the CS3 program to support 25 city-owned cameras and dozens of other cameras owned by local organizations, businesses and other public safety agencies. Cleveland’s cameras can tilt, pan and zoom in on a particular area to follow the activities of an ongoing situation or help predict a dangerous situation before it happens. Motorola’s video system allows an emergency responder in distress to press an emergency button on his or her radio that triggers an alarm at the dispatch center. The system then identifies neighboring cameras and directs them to the responder’s coordinates. In addition, Motorola’s domain expertise in public safety allows for a community’s video solution to grow from specifically selected areas where video is a proven deterrent to “safe corridor” implementations for broader city-wide coverage.

“The Cleveland community has benefitted directly from our work with Motorola Solutions. The video solutions project creates a sense of awareness and a feeling of safety, especially in the high-traffic areas such as our downtown business district and sporting arenas,” said Martin Flask, Public Safety Director, City of Cleveland.

“One of the most important aspects of the video solution project has been the preventative component. Individuals know the cameras are there, and that can prevent crime and tragedies from occurring. I don’t want to catch the person who stole the purse…I want to prevent the purse from being stolen in the first place,” stated City of Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath.

Video surveillance is transforming the way first responders react to an emergency situation and helping keep cities safe. According to Bruce Brda, vice president of Global Solutions and Services, Motorola Solutions, “Video solutions are transforming how public safety workers respond to a critical situation without compromising their safety and effectiveness. The city of Cleveland has been a perfect example of how we can work with our customers to create a vision for the ultimate goal they are looking to accomplish.”

NICE Systems

Today’s cities face a variety of safety, security and operational challenges and threats, including shootings, natural disasters, severe weather, traffic congestion, fires, civil unrest, and terrorism. To respond appropriately to these types of situations, city surveillance centers need relevant, real-time information about what’s happening where, and how to respond. NICE’s integrated security solutions, which include NICE Situator, NiceVision, NICE Inform and NICE audio solutions act as a ‘force multiplier’ by equipping city surveillance centers with solutions that deliver the right information to the right people at the right time, so they can achieve more effective responses with limited resources.

Among the capabilities: Intelligent, real-time alerting and streamlined responses: NICE Situator consolidates information from many different systems to provide intelligent, real-time alerting and streamlined responses. City-wide video surveillance can be seamlessly combined with public and private video management systems (VMSs) and accessed through one interface, allowing surveillance centers to significantly expand their intelligence assets and reach. In addition, gunshot detection, License Plate Recognition (LPR), weather systems, emergency/mass notification, traffic systems, and GIS can also be integrated. GIS integration, for example, enables video cameras, sensors, and other assets to be overlaid on the same map to give operators a better visual picture of unfolding situations. Surveillance center personnel get complete information about an event and can manage events from one system. Responses are also streamlined through automatic correlation (e.g. between gunshot detection and video) and smart resource assignment (e.g. based on specific resource attributes such as availability, skills and location).

Improved collaboration: Through CAD integration, Situator enhances collaboration between city surveillance centers and PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points), enabling them to share information during emergency situations. For example, in the event of a serious accident or shooting, a 9-1-1 dispatcher could access live video feed from a city surveillance network and provide additional details to first responders.

Post-event debriefing, incident reconstruction: City surveillance centers can leverage NICE’s integrated security solutions, including NICE Situator and Inform, to reconstruct incidents exactly as they happened. Video from multiple surveillance systems, audio recordings, cell phone video, CAD screen recordings, and in-car police video can be compiled into one incident timeline and replayed. Operator actions are also tracked and documented. Documenting incidents in this manner allows the surveillance center to conduct thorough investigations and provide compelling evidence; determine if procedures were followed; address training issues; establish best practices; and continuously improve responses to various threats.

Jennifer Gavigan is the Managing Editor of LAW and ORDER, Tactical Response and Police Fleet Manager. She can be reached at jgavigan@hendonpub.com.

Published in Law and Order, Oct 2012

Rating : Not Yet Rated

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