Chicago LTE pilot tests real-time video for police

Chicago LTE pilot tests real-time video for police

In Chicago, public safety organizations are testing an LTE broadband network to see how well it can transmit data and video in a high-density urban police district.

In November 2014, the city gained temporary access to the 700MHz public safety broadband spectrum from the Federal Communications Commission, and outfitted 15 mobile police units with mobile data terminals to receive video and data from the city’s 25,000 surveillance cameras and crime mapping, records management and sensor-based systems, like automatic gunshot detectors.

“We’ve got access to over 25,000 cameras within this city,” said Gary Schenkel, of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications. "This will bring that capability right into the squad car for our officers. It will give them the opportunity to see real-time video of an incident that it occurs in the district when they’re responding to a call-in or an event."

The program, which started in February, is testing how fast video and data can be transmitted when multiple technologies are operating at the same time.

The Chicago LTE pilot is one of a handful of efforts around the country by local police using public safety broadband spectrum. The pilot’s goals are to find a baseline for broadband capabilities; to evaluate, document and analyze video quality and broadband network impacts; and to demonstrate how technology integration can provide police and emergency management personnel with more information faster and more reliably, in order to trim response times.

The LTE Chicago Project is a joint effort between the Department of Homeland Security, the First Responders Group, Motorola Corp., Purdue University and the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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