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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222268 Find in a Library
Title: Best Practices in Mobile Data Communications
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:35  Issue:3  Dated:March 2008  Pages:40,42,45
Author(s): Ed Lee
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 5
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains what the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) learned from the process of piecing together a wireless data solution that has maximized the efficiency of the OCSD's mobile workers by better using the available cellular data networks and county-owned Wi-Fi hotspots.
Abstract: The OCSD (California) covers an expansive geographic area with a varied terrain that posed a number of obstacles when the department began to implement a true mobile data communications strategy 7 years ago. Currently, the OCSD has two distinct groups of mobile data users: investigators and patrolling officers. Both groups are highly mobile and spend most of their shifts in their vehicles. The investigators and patrol officers are equipped with laptops fitted with Wi-Fi and cellular modem cards. When they are near an OCSD Wi-Fi hotspot, they use a Wi-Fi card to connect to the Internet at high speed. From the field, they connect to the cellular data network. Both groups of users access similar networked resources in order to perform their tasks. Investigators mainly need wireless access for e-mail, Intranet, shared folders on OCSD servers, and the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. This article explains how the OCSD has dealt with wireless coverage gaps and interruptions, wireless roaming and rollover, and data security. OCSD found that the best option for solving its wireless and connectivity challenges was to install specialized mobile virtual private network software on officers' laptops and backend servers. The article advises that when implementing a wireless strategy, agencies should consider the use case scenarios and anticipate the common problems with these deployments. Most importantly, the mobile strategy should not rely on manual intervention and should account for the availability of multiple networks.
Main Term(s): Police management
Index Term(s): California; Computer software; Mobile digital communications; Police equipment; Police telecommunications systems
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