POLICE Magazine

JUL 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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4 S P E C I A L R E P O R T • M I S S I O N C R I T I C A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S aw enforcement agencies nationwide are looking at adopt- ing the FirstNet first responder cellular voice and data network for mission crit- ical communication. Does that mean the end of land mobile radio as a primary emergency communications tool? e Lake County (FL) Sheriff's Office is an example of an agency that is planning to adopt first responder cellular commu- nications, but it is not ready to do away with its land mobile radio (LMR) sys- tem. Lake County SO has already begun field trials with FirstNet. Officials there say they're excited about the prospect of being able to share data and video reli- ably and securely across the emergency community. But Lake County's Sgt. Jason Matthews doesn't see LMR going away. "It will take some time before we are sold on the idea of replacing a deputy sheriff's tried-and- true land mobile radio completely in fa- vor of a ruggedized broadband device," he says. Matthews is not alone. Despite eager- ness in law enforcement to put FirstNet through its paces, LMR likely will remain the primary mode of voice communica- tions for the foreseeable future. In fact, analysts with Research and Markets see demand for LMR expanding from $14.6 billion in 2017 to $25.7 billion in 2025. Why is LMR still front and center, with broadband LTE just around the corner? A PHOTO: FR ANKLIN R AU First responder cellular communications are expected to present a challenge to mission critical radio systems in the future, but it's not time to switch over yet. Adam Stone The Future of Police Radio L

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