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Calif. Agency Equips Fleet with Wi-Fi Capability

September 13, 2011  | 

The Los Gatos/Monte Sereno (Calif.) Police Department has equipped its cruisers with additional Wi-Fi capability that allows officers to offload video to the main network in the station.

In the past, the department had to roll out a Cat 5 Ethernet cable on a spool to physically connect the vehicles to the network to download dash-cam videos. Police vehicles and even a street sweeper regularly damaged the Cat 5 cable, which had to be replaced on a regular basis. Additionally, officers working on tight schedules didn't download the video footage as often as needed. As a result, the agency experienced long download times when they found the time to get everything hooked up.

"The Firetide mesh solution was a breeze to install, configuring seamlessly into our existing network," said John Zore, network administrator for the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno police department. "We were blown away by the blazing fast speed we could get across the wireless network. Beyond that, we are very happy that we no longer need to roll out cables to police cruisers; now the officers only need to hit a button when they come back to the station and everything is offloaded automatically."

The department's 15 police vehicles are now equipped with a Firetide HotPort 7000 indoor mesh node that transmits data directly to the police station with a single click of a button. Data about each vehicle is also captured and transmitted along with the video, providing the department with greater insight into every vehicle. The data download includes information from how fast an officer is driving to readouts from crash sensors.

When the new police operations building was constructed, it was determined that the most feasible network to include would be one based on wireless technology because it provides a more cost-effective solution than hard-wiring. It also enables the police department to upgrade the system in the future without tearing out the existing wires as is necessary with Cat 5- and Cat 6-based solutions. The Firetide-based solution provides fiber-like performance with full Ethernet compatibility and integration with the existing wired infrastructure.

"The Town of Los Gatos is a prime example of how easy it is to get up and running with a Firetide-based network. We provide the flexibility and performance needed for many real-world deployments, from Wi-Fi access to video surveillance," said Bo Larsson, CEO of Firetide. "The Firetide wireless family has unmatched performance, making our offerings one of the only solutions on the market that is a true alternative to fiber-based networks in a cost-effective manner."

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