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Brian Cain

Brian Cain

Brian Cain is a sergeant with the Holly Springs (Ga.) Police Department, and is known as the "Millennial cop" on Twitter. He has been in law enforcement since 2000. He hosts and produces a podcast for Millennials in law enforcement.

Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Michael Bostic

Michael Bostic

Mike Bostic, of Raytheon Corp.'s Civil Communication Solutions group, specializes in open architecture, systems integration of communications and data programs. Mike spent 34 years with the LAPD. He managed IT and facility development, as well as the SWAT Board of Inquiry, which developed new command-and-control systems.

Public Safety Broadband: Looking Ahead After 9/11

Elected officials are joining law enforcement and fire responders in calling for better coordination to give public safety a boost.

September 30, 2011  |  by Michael Bostic - Also by this author

The services are over, the media has largely left, those who paused in remembrance are now back at work. The 10th anniversary of 9/11 has come and gone, and in its wake there are concerns that the push for a nationwide public safety broadband network will pass as well.

I disagree.

If anything, there's a rising chorus of voices saying that this type of network is long overdue. I'm hearing the same message from police officers, firefighters, highway patrol, and elected officials: We need a coordinated response between agencies to better protect the public.

Public safety officials are increasingly aware of the disconnect between technology that's available to the average consumer and technology that's available to first responders. People are now asking me about emerging broadband technologies such as LTE (Long Term Evolution) and WiMAX. They no longer give me a blank look when I mention these terms.

On Capitol Hill, many lawmakers are listening and stepping up to help public safety get the wireless network and technology it needs to do a better job. As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approached, Congress was routinely chastised by journalists for not following up on one of the key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report—the creation of a nationwide interoperable public safety network. In the months leading up to the anniversary, the House and Senate proposed their own versions on how to build such a network. While the frameworks differ significantly, sustained pressure on politicians to "get the job done" can hopefully result in a compromise.

First responders are the focus of another piece of legislation called the HEROES Act, which was recently introduced in the House. This bipartisan bill seeks to fund upgrades to first responders' communications equipment, and is in response to an FCC regulation requiring that public safety agencies upgrade their equipment and spectrum licenses before Jan. 1, 2013.

Businesses are also answering the call for public safety solutions, offering products designed specifically with first responders' needs in mind. Raytheon has expanded its public safety focus with a new Security and Transportation Systems business line that brings the power of a single network with limitless capability to public safety.

One thing we know as we look forward to the future is that change is certain. Moore's law says that technology grows exponentially, and it's expected to continue to do so until 2015 or 2020. This means that every technology will be replaced at some point. Public safety has no choice but to keep up with the times. We can't hold on to those analog radio handsets forever.


Obama Jobs Bill Would Allocate D Block to Public Safety

Interoperability: 10 Years Too Long

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