The Elwood (IL) Police Department announced that it is upgrading its technology upgrade with the FirstNet communications platform. "This move lets us take advantage of the early benefits of FirstNet, and it sets us up for continued success as the solution evolves. We want to lead in technology, so we can better serve the people of the Village of Elwood," says a department release.

FirstNet is a nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to first responders. Built with AT&T, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, it is designed to give agencies' communications capabilities a major boost, providing a reliable, highly secure and "always on" connection.

"It's great to be one of the first public safety agencies in Will County to take advantage of FirstNet applications," said Chief Fred Hayes.

Hayes said the Elwood PD's decision to join FirstNet was based on the following 3 critical factors:

  • Groundbreaking Technology—FirstNet is the only platform that gives first responders priority and preemption. That means we'll have access to the connection we need – even when the network is congested. This will help us keep ourselves and those we serve safe and secure. We look forward to taking advantage of additional mission-critical capabilities as the technology advances.
  • Immediate Innovation—Traditional public safety networks don't support apps and video, but FirstNet does. This can enable us to use data in new ways, changing the way we achieve our mission. FirstNet features a public safety-focused applications ecosystem and a growing device portfolio. This puts innovative tools at our fingertips. And the more actionable information and capabilities we have access to, the more situational awareness we have and the smarter and faster we can operate.
  • Affordability with No Speed Limits—We demand a lot. But we can't pay a lot. FirstNet gives us the mission-critical capabilities we need with the affordability we require. And our access to the important information we need will never be throttled anywhere in the country.

"As the home to the largest inland port in North America, it's vitally important to give our police officers the critical tools to respond effectively to the unique dynamics presented by a massive logistical and warehousing industrial complex," said Hayes.

When a major event occurs, it's important to share data with other responders. As more agencies join FirstNet, it will drive a greater level of interoperability. This should help Elwood PD communicate with ease across agencies, jurisdictions and even state lines.

"We're honored that the Elwood Police Department chose FirstNet to further elevate their communications capabilities," said Jim Maurer, vice president, AT&T Illinois. "It's our mission to give first responders the cutting-edge tools they need to keep themselves and those they serve out of harm's way. And we look forward to helping Elwood's officers achieve their life-saving missions."

"FirstNet is the exclusive communications platform built with AT&T for public safety, inspired by public safety – there is no substitution for this network that they fought for," said First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth. "We look forward to supporting the Elwood Police Department's use of FirstNet, making sure it delivers what they need, when they need it."

To learn more about the Elwood Police Department, go to To learn more about FirstNet, go to