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Alabama picks Voyager Secure Wireless Data

MCLEAN, VA—Advanced Technology Systems Inc., a leading IT company that delivers innovative technology solutions to federal, state, and local government organizations, announced that the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC) has selected the company’s Voyager Secure Wireless Data solution as the central technology platform to support and manage its statewide enterprise wireless system for criminal justice data. The contract is valued in excess of $1 million over a three-year period.

A first of its type in the United States, the statewide enterprise wireless system provides more than 15,000 local Alabama law enforcement officers with mobile access to secure criminal justice data using virtually any wireless device, including laptops, personal data assistants, and cell phones, on any wireless data communications platform. With the Voyager system, local agencies now have the flexibility and freedom to make their own decisions related to data communications and device choices through best of breed, commercially available technologies, rather than encountering restrictions that inevitably occur when states force a single technology standard for all agencies.

“We’re fully committed to helping the state of Alabama achieve interoperability and improve communication among its law enforcement and homeland security agencies,” said Martin Gillespie, vice president and general manager of Public Safety Solutions at Advanced Technology Systems. “Our extensive experience as both a complex system integrator and custom software developer for the criminal justice community positions us very well to help ACJIC better support the law enforcement officers who protect and defend citizens across the state.”

Interoperability is commonly cited as a major hurdle in trying to create a common communications platform for all first responders and public safety organizations. The Voyager platform conquers this problem by allowing any commercially available or private radio data network to be used to access data wirelessly, thereby allowing for interoperability among disparate systems. Local agencies are thus able to make individual decisions regarding RF voice and data network coverage and associated costs, while still employing the Voyager system. Additionally, the unique secure messaging component of the Voyager platform allows for interoperable communications between agencies, departments, task forces, and other critical law enforcement stakeholders.

“Voyager supports immediate access of mission-critical criminal justice data by putting it directly into the hands of local law enforcement officers,” said Maury Mitchell, Director of ACJIC. “This technology fundamentally changes the way we can protect the citizens of the state, while significantly increasing officer safety. We couldn’t ask for a better strategic technology partner than ATS. Their focus on next generation technology and customer service fits perfectly into our mission of service to the Alabama law enforcement community,”

The Alabama Department of Homeland Security allocated federal funding to support the Voyager project, which—along with providing the invaluable ability to access criminal records from state and national systems—incorporates wireless access to Hazardous Material (HazMat) data, supports the transmission of Amber Alerts, and facilitates the push of information regarding critical weather during natural disasters.

Before full implementation of the Voyager system, ACJIC requested support from Advanced Technology Systems’ Public Safety Solutions division during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The state’s law enforcement community needed a way to perform onsite criminal background and verification checks of suspected sex predators and other felons as people in Alabama and the surrounding states became displaced. The Voyager platform’s ability to quickly access critical criminal history data wirelessly allowed local and state law enforcement to perform these vital checks, ultimately leading to the identification and arrest of several convicted felons and parolees.

Published in Public Safety IT, Nov/Dec 2006

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