Mountain View Police Department

Mountain View Police Department

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Mountain View Police Department serves a population of approximately 77,000 residents. Mountain View operates a primary 911 dispatch center, which handles emergency dispatch for the city police and fire departments, as well as other local government users.

The Challenge

In the last few years the Mountain View Police Department had deployed a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) solution and other technology initiatives that required increasing bandwidth. The existing 3G wireless modems in police vehicles were too slow to properly support these applications. As these devices started to reach the end of their useful lifespan, they were becoming unreliable or failing outright. Replacement of the failed units was not an option, as they were no longer supported by the manufacturer. There was no way to upgrade them, as they had limited or no remote update capabilities, and no central management system. Fast, reliable mobile access to internal resources is essential to the primary mission of public safety: investigating crimes thoroughly, identifying suspects, and keeping officers safe as they conduct their duties. Police officers and other personnel were thwarted in some cases by slow connectivity, frequent disconnections, and unreliable data transmission.

The Solution

The Department conducted research to determine which solution would provide the best connectivity and device management capability at the right price. In the end, they selected the Vanguard 5530, the only unit that offered dual LAN ports, Wi-Fi, and GPS in a single package, along with the DeviceOutlook device management platform. “The process of installing the modems in the vehicles took about three days, which was faster than we expected,” says Doug Kiner, Mountain View PD’s Senior Systems Specialist. “Once we were connected to our carrier, updating the firmware with DeviceOutlook was painless. Even when it happened on a vehicle that was active in the field, the interruption barely noticeable.” The Vanguard 5530 provides the fast, secure 4G connectivity required by the sophisticated applications that Mountain View uses to ensure public safety, at a lower total cost of ownership than competitive products. For additional bandwidth, the Mountain View PD upgraded to a 10 Mbps connection to their broadband carrier, which the older units could never have made use of the way the Vanguard does. “The supervisors and other personnel noticed immediately that the connectivity is much faster and more reliable,” says Kiner. “The Lieutenants noticed the improved performance immediately.” The Vanguard 5530 will allow the Department to expand their capabilities with predictive policing applications, vehicle area networks, and other capabilities that leverage Vanguard’s unique features.