POLICE Magazine

SEP 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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84 POLICE SEPTEMBER 2018 ters situation. ey use specific frequen- cies when they need to talk unit-to-unit in relatively close distances, without having to worry about maybe being in an area with bad network coverage," Horden says. Various efforts are under way to devel- op similar capabilities in the LTE world, but until these come to fruition, police and other emergency users say they will be reluctant to set LMR aside. FirstNet officials likewise say there is good reason to expect LMR to be around for some time to come. "e radios may have 10 times the power of a smart phone, so they can punch their signal through walls, in parking structures and base- ments," says Bill Schrier, a senior advisor to FirstNet. "In a wild area or a remote area where there aren't any cell towers, LMR is going to be better able to reach into those areas." In addition to these operational con- cerns, a number of infrastructure-related issues also factor in to ensure the longev- ity of LMR. serves on the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) communica- tions advisory committee. "If I can't reach the FirstNet network, my phone is just a paperweight." LMR on the other hand "is designed with fallback modes," Seybold says. "If there is a failure in an LMR network there is a gradual degradation, multiple steps that allow continued communications all the way down to unit-to-unit level com- munication, which is always available." is has real-world consequences. "Last summer when we had two major hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, it knocked down a whole lot of [cellular] infrastruc- ture. But the first responders were able to communicate because they had their LMR networks," says Anatoly Delm, director of devices and infrastructure at Motorola. LMR also offers users the ability to form their own small groups, a critical capability for police in certain operation- al scenarios. "Police would use that in a stakeout-type situation, or a close-quar- "THE RADIOS MAY HAVE 10 TIMES THE POWER OF A SMART PHONE, SO THEY CAN PUNCH THEIR SIGNAL THROUGH WALLS, IN PARKING STRUCTURES AND BASEMENTS." —Bill Schrier, FirstNet PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES The Future of Police Radio

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