January 4, 2017–LAS VEGAS — Drone defibrillators and real-time video from stand-offs with barricaded suspects are among the ways in which broadband can transform public safety response, according to panelists in a CES 2017 session on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).
Maggie Goodrich, chief information officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, said that the video generated by in-vehicle and body-worn cameras in her department already exceeds the capacity for humans to review it, but that “certainly there are instances” where remote downloads and livestreaming “would be helpful,” rather than having to wait for officers to return to the station to download the video from their cameras. She added, “It probably won’t be used for every call, but with a barricaded suspect, live-streaming back to the command post would be helpful.” She also suggested that non-human monitoring of video could help in determining “whether cameras are being turned off and when they should.”
Moderator and FirstNet President TJ Kennedy suggested that automated transcripts and other tools could work with the in-car and body-worn video and could reduce the time that police officers have to spend creating reports on each incident, enabling them to move more quickly “to respond to the next call.”
Ms. Goodrich noted that such a system would have to be able deal with “noisy situations —two officers in the car, helicopters overhead,” but that “the more we reduce that report-writing time, the more time the officer spends in the street.”
She said that the LAPD had spent a lot of time working Ford Motor Co. to “reduce the amount of after-market adaptions” needed for police vehicles. “Every time we add a bracket [to attach a police-specific device], we create a new projectile in an accident,” she said. “We spent a lot of time getting the laptop into the trunk and using the screen that’s already in the console,” she added.
Mr. Kennedy said that automatic defibrillator drones have already been developed in Europe, enabling defibrillators to reach patients “in the critical first nine minutes” after a heart attack. Drones can also provide surveillance for wild fires and major traffic incidents, he added, providing “real-time situational awareness.” Ms. Goodrich suggested that wearable technology could also be used for health monitoring of first responders in the field.
Bill Schrier, who joined FirstNet last August from the Seattle Police Department where he was chief technology officer, noted that FirstNet hopes to be able to announce the selection of a private partner to build a nationwide public safety broadband network later this year. “My job with FirstNet is finding killer apps [for public safety] that will make a material difference in how we keep the public safe,” he said.
Ms. Goodrich urged industry representatives to “come to us with an idea” so that public safety can help refine it. “Don’t come to us with a finished product and hope that it works,” she said. —Lynn Stanton, email@example.com