skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 224791 Find in a Library
Title: Over-the-Air (OTA) Communications Improvements for Police Departments
Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Date Published: January 2009
Page Count: 2
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the features and benefits of Over-the-Air Programming (OTAP) for improvements in police radio communications.
Abstract: The key benefit of OTAP is the ability to change a radio’s features from afar. Without OTAP, changing a police radio’s features involves a technician making the changes during radio downtimes. Updating police car radios requires taking the cars out of service and sometimes even driving them to a dealer for the update installation. OTAP allows police departments to update radio software and change a radio’s features by beaming the updates directly to the radios. Although used sparingly in police departments currently, OTAP has been a major part of military and cellular networks for more than a decade. Basic OTAP services include the ability to update and change channel plans and talk groups. More advanced OTAP will support changes to individual user profiles and may include the ability to update and change applications on an individual radio. OTAP has implications for Project 25 (P25), which is an effort to develop standards for new radio systems for State, local, and Federal law enforcement agencies and other first responders. OTAP is not currently part of the P25 standard. This oversight should be addressed. When buying new radios, police departments should consider OTAP. The cost savings alone can be significant when more than several hundred radios are involved. Statewide, the number can be in the thousands. With the widespread use of OTAP among public safety agencies, a disaster involving a multiple-agency response could see P25 compatible radios loaded over the air with a profile, channel plan, group plan, and any added features that would aid radio communication among all personnel involved in the command-and-control operation.
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Communications; Interagency cooperation; Mobile radio equipment; Police telecommunications systems
Note: In Short: Toward Criminal Justice Solutions, January 2009; downloaded March 4, 2009.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.