(Released 15 January 2016) - After 12 weeks of testing, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) unveiled lessons learned from its Chicago Long-Term Evolution (LTE) pilot that was conducted with first responders. In conjunction with the Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC) and the Chicago Police Department (CPD), S&T sought to leverage the city’s existing investments and infrastructure to allow first responders to see what happens if they are in an urban area with high-speed, real-time access to law enforcement video information over the public safety broadband.
“DHS S&T is committed to giving first responders the best tools to do their jobs,” said Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “By focusing on how to transmit real-time video to their cars, trucks, etc., we can make their jobs easier and potentially save a lot of lives.”
Officers in Chicago’s 7th District tested the real world applications of the Chicago LTE pilot from early February to late May.
“We wanted to help them define their requirements and to be able to bring the technology early enough to them in order to do so,” said First Responders Group (FRG) Program Manager Cuong Luu.
For Luu and his team, Chicago was the perfect place for the pilot given the 7th District precinct’s expertise in video and data analytics. The project integrates several different technologies deployed around the city into a single high-density, high-activity urban police district in order to send police and first responders information at a faster pace and with more reliability.
“We’ve got access to over 25,000 cameras in the city and this will bring that capability right into the squad car of our officers,” said Gary Schenkel, Executive Director, OEMC.
The 12-week pilot concluded that the LTE network provides an unprecedented opportunity to increase the capacity to meet the needs and requirements of public safety with respect to video delivery.
“This pilot allowed us to test the use of broadband networks for public safety and arrive at conclusions that not only inform the network architecture design of Chicago’s network, but many others including the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network,” said DHS S&T program manager Cuong Luu. “Key findings touching on viability, limitations and future research needs are especially helpful for those currently using commercial broadband networks and for researchers and other partners focused on the build-out of this broadband network for public safety.”
S&T captures lessons learned from the pilot in a report titled Chicago LTE Video Pilot: Final Lessons Learned and Test Report that explores how public safety broadband can benefit urban communities across the country.