POLICE Magazine

OCT 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1037204

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Page 46 of 80

44 POLICE OCTOBER 2018 lular provider would gain access to the FirstNet spectrum in return for building the first responder network. AT&T won the auction. So FirstNet is now a public- private partnership. 4. THE CORE Earlier this year FirstNet announced the launch of its nationwide core, which means essentially the system is now live. e FirstNet core is built on entirely sepa- rate hardware from the standard AT&T cellular system. is separates all First- Net traffic from AT&T's commercial traf- fic. "It's like having a superhighway that only public safety can use," FirstNet says. 5. 56 STATES AND TERRITORIES Each state and territory was given the op- portunity to opt in to the FirstNet network or build its own. To no one's surprise, none of them chose to build their own. FirstNet service was selected by all 50 plus the Dis- trict of Columbia and five territories. 6. SIGNING UP Now that so many states and territories have opted in to FirstNet, just about every law enforcement officer in the country can sign up for the service. is can be ac- complished one of two ways: either the entire agency can sign up (more about that in a minute) and/or the individual officer can choose a FirstNet plan for personal cellphone service. In order to qualify for individual FirstNet service, each officer's status must be verified by his or her agency. Cost of the service depends on the individual plan selected. 7. AGENCYWIDE IMPLEMENTATION In addition to individual officers signing up for FirstNet service, whole law enforce- ment agencies can choose to implement a FirstNet communication system. A good example of this is the Brazos County (TX) The Gunshot Residue Experts » ASCLD/LAB accredited to perform primer gunshot residue analysis & distance determination » Experts qualifi ed in 29 states, plus Bermuda, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, & New Zealand » 5 - 10 day turnaround time » Competitive pricing - Call for more information! 724.519.9068 go.rjlg.com/criminal-forensics Sheriff's Office. Very few law enforcement agencies have as much expe- rience with FirstNet as Brazos County SO, which shared ac- cess to a 2017 first responder LTE experiment in neighbor- ing Harris County that coin- cided with Houston's host- ing the Super Bowl. So when Texas opted in to the FirstNet network Brazos County SO was one of the first agencies to sign up. Sgt. Josh Hearen says the agency's de- sire for FirstNet capabilities was driven by its experience with communications issues during Texas A&M football games. During and after the games, cellular ser- vice experiences a significant drop off in the stadium area as an additional 50,000 people try to access their providers' net- works. Rather than have each individual depu- ty sign up for FirstNet (something they are Police Tech

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