POLICE Magazine Supplements

Special Report 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1113595

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Page 7 of 19

LMR E ven here at the end of this century's second decade, radio remains the single most important communications during any critical incident, whether it is an officer-involved shooting, an active attacker, a terrorist bombing, or a natural disaster. e first communications concern that must be addressed during any critical incident scene is cross talk. If everybody is trying to talk at once, then communications break down and valuable information is not shared. is is not a technical issue; it's an officer discipline issue. Officers who are not involved in the incident and not relaying essential information need to stay off the comms as much as possible. e second biggest concern during any critical incident is making sure that all the operating agen- cies, including police, sheriff's deputies, firefight- ers, and EMS, can talk to each other. is is called interoperability, and it's a huge issue at big events. Over the years there have been a number of attempts to solve this problem with technology. State-of-the-art law enforcement radios meet the Project 25 (P25) digital standard. One technical benefit of the P25 standard is interoperability. It means that all public safe- ty communications equipment adheres to the same standard. In addition, P25 radios can communicate with analog radios. Also, P25 standardization has enabled a number of soware and hardware developers to create workarounds for the single biggest interoperability concern for agencies operating at criti- cal incident scenes, the ability for several agencies operating on different frequencies and even different radio bands to commu- nicate with each other. 8 | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | C R I T ICA L I NC I D E N T R E S P O N S E ➔ PHOTO: POLICE FILE Law enforcement communications during attacks, active shootings, or disasters is now about much more than radio. THE EVOLUTION OF CRITICAL INCIDENT COMMUNICATIONS DAVID GRIFFITH Law enforcement communications have been in transition for about 30 years. First they evolved from primarily analog radio systems to dig- ital radio systems, then to cellular systems, and now they are evolving into video transmission systems. What this means is there will soon be three essential communi- cations media that will come into play during any critical incident: land-mobile radio (LMR), cellular data and voice, and live video streaming. Each will have a role and each will be essential to the success of your operations.

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