Halton Police First in Canada to Use Dedicated Public Safety Wireless Network

Halton police will be the first in Canada to embrace the country’s first public safety LTE wireless network - specifically for first responders - using cutting-edge technologies.

"Accessing this new technology gives Halton first responders the dependable platform they need to respond efficiently to calls for service and major incidents,” said Deputy Chief Nish Duraiappah.

The federal government allocated the wireless spectrum “for public safety agencies for good reason. Every patrol officer in Halton will soon be operating on our own wireless LTE network."

Police will be working with Motorola Solutions into 2018 “to host the core of this network right here in Halton. It is our hope that other public safety agencies in our Region and across Canada will also benefit from it in time," said Duraiappah.

The digital age has made policing more complex, with the need for both mission-critical voice communications and the ability to securely share data on a wireless network, he said, and for years, first responders have used voice radio to transmit messages to police officers and other public safety partners - including neighbouring police agencies - in order to coordinate assistance to the public.

As the Region has experienced unprecedented growth and modernization of technology, voice radio communication must be supplemented with data in order to provide detailed information to responders, say police.

With the addition of a secure wireless network used by more than 1,000 members, first responders will be able to access and share information vital for heightened situational awareness, preserving the radio system for crucial voice communications.

Recent changes in radio spectrum availability made by the federal government, in collaboration with the chiefs of police, fire and medical services across the country have paved the way for wireless public safety data systems.

For a front line officer, their cruiser and computer is their platform for response to calls for service and major incidents.

Officers presently relay data through commercial networks, which are designed for public use.

Obtaining priority and access on these networks in times of crisis - at the same time it’s being used by the public - can result in the inability for officers to obtain vital information when needed the most.

The Motorola Solutions LTE network will be used by officers exclusively to instantly access data on their computers or mobile devices such as dispatch information, records information, GPS data, maps, pictures, videos and real-time analytics for day-to-day operations and during emergencies.

"Halton Police is known to be an innovator within public safety. This new public safety LTE system is a major step forward in ensuring that Halton first responders have access to critical information when it is needed the most,” said manager of information technology Bill Payne.

By supplementing their Motorola Solutions mission-critical LMR voice network with a dedicated public safety LTE broadband network, “they will be able to use next generation applications to help improve the safety of the Halton Region community and its first responders," said Motorola Solutions Canada president George Krausz.

The Halton Police LTE network core will be available to other public safety agencies which are looking to use a public safety-dedicated broadband network.

Photo courtesy of Halton Regional Police

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