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Wireless Communication

Keep the lines of communication open without all those pesky wires.

April 01, 2002  |  by - Also by this author

Every day there seems to be a new invention or upgrade in the area of wireless communications for law enforcement. New and better ways to talk to other officers, talk to dispatch, or get information without talking to dispatch. There's lots of equipment and software out there. How do you make sense of it all?

Well, here are a few of the wireless ways to keep everyone communicating. When you're out on patrol, you don't want to get your wires crossed, so to speak. So hey, what better answer than wireless communications?

Now you can go beyond simple person-to-person communication and make sure everyone in the agency and beyond is aware of what's going on where and who's involved.

Two-Way Radios

These oldies but goodies are still around for a reason: they work. The newer versions are even more user friendly and have lots of cool features to make them even better.

Global2-Way offers the professional portable series of durable and flexible two-way radios in separate versions to cover different frequency ranges. They're also available with or without a keypad.

This series of radios is military-standard rugged, yet compact and lightweight. A large LCD pad and large backlit keypad make operation easy, even when you're in the dark and only have one hand free.

With 256 memory channels and programmable keys, the radio can be customized to fit your needs on the job or even your particular tactical situation. It's a lot more than a walkie-talkie. But when you want to use it that way, it can be encrypted for private conversations. It also has a Man Down feature.

When you want to use more than just voice to communicate, you can send messages with Motorola's Premier 2Way pager software. In fact, you can send messages to other 2Way and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) users as well as Premier MDC mobile data software laptop users. You can also use the Premier 2Way as a pager when you want someone to respond right now.

And of course, the Premier 2Way gives you access to local, state, and federal databases so you don't have to bug dispatch for information.

With all these features allowing you to communicate with databases and others, security to keep people out is important. The radio requires you to enter your logon ID, a password, and unit ID before it will communicate with the Premier MDC message switch, giving you access to confidential information. In addition, an automatic logoff feature disconnects users from the message switch after a set period of inactivity, so you can't inadvertently let anyone else in after you've logged on.

Television Equipment Associates' Davies/Marconi PRR headset and radio is made to eliminate media monitoring. This can be a particular problem for SWAT team communications.

This ruggedized mil-spec radio operates spread spectrum at 2.4GHz and has 256 channels and an operating range of 500 meters. It can even transmit through up to three floors in urban terrain.

The included boom arm headset with full peripheral hearing has a noise canceling mic with whisper speech. It fits under helmets and will even interface to gas masks. The product includes a wireless press to talk (PTT) switch at 418 MHz, which means easy operation in tough situations.

Radio Extras

If you already have a radio, you still need a microphone. It can be important to keep your hands free for other things. Like maybe a gun.

CeoTronics' BoomMike Earhanger System is comfortable and secure. Its flat compact design helps it fit under tight helmets or headgear. It's lightweight, flexible, and even comes in two sizes. Your ear remains free while using the device so you can hear ambient sounds and the flexible boom mike cancels background noise. The system works with just about any two-way radio as well as cell phones.

CeoTronics’ BoomMike Earhanger System gives you hands-free audio.

Getting the most out of your radios is important to everyone. Citizens need those radios to work as well as possible and not cut out as you're on the way to help them. You want to keep in contact with dispatch and other officers at all times for your safety and the safety of others.

JPS Communications' Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) system enables expansion of radio links across IP networks. In plain English, it connects radios across the room or across the world.

JPS’ VoIP system expands your agency’s wireless radio links.

The NXU-2 uses existing network infrastructure to enable flexible radio communications networks. It uses high-speed digital signal processing and network processors to multiplex audio, control, and RS-232 connections over a single Ethernet connection. With the right connections, you can link the unit to virtually any type of LAN, WAN, or the Internet.

The product is completely operational within five seconds of "power on" and it has no moving parts and requires no periodic shutdown or maintenance, so it's not likely to break.

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