Duty Calls – Supporting Police Officers through FirstNet

AT&T Blog Team
May 17, 2023
Public Safety

Duty Calls – Supporting Police Officers through FirstNet

Whether in everyday situations, planned festivals or emergency scenarios, police officers are operating in the field and behind the scenes, coordinating responses to help keep our communities safe.

Earlier this month, we shared stories of how firefighters rely on FirstNet to keep their communities safe. In honor of National Police Week, we want to highlight how police officers are doing the same.

One of the best ways to recognize the bravery of these heroes is by supporting them – and here at AT&T, we do that 365 days a year through FirstNet, Built with AT&T.

  • FirstNet, America’s nationwide, high-speed broadband public safety network built specifically for police and all first responders alike, is fueling public safety innovation.

Dedicated connectivity when needed most

While on duty, it’s critical police officers have reliable connectivity that always makes their communications the priority, and FirstNet is connecting more than 25,000 public safety agencies across all 56 states and territories.

Take the Los Angeles Police Department for example, as they rely on FirstNet to support their public safety ecosystem. Through platforms like Intrepid Network’s Response for FirstNet, which reduces radio traffic and enhances situational awareness, LAPD is equipping officers with reliable access to critical information – helping keep police officers safe, so they can keep our communities safe. which reduces radio traffic and enhances situational awareness, LAPD is equipping officers with reliable access to critical information – helping keep police officers safe, so they can keep our communities safe.

On the other side of the country in New York City, it’s historically been difficult for police officers patrolling the subway to rely on their connection. Now, with FirstNet, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has bolstered their wireless radio systems, helping their officers stay connected, whether above or underground. 

And in Vail, Colorado – where 10,000-foot mountain passes used to stand in the way of cell service – the Vail Police Department now relies on FirstNet to communicate, helping keep their 2 million visitors a year safe.

Dynamic to meet the moment

As police officers bravely respond to unknown situations, they need unique tools to overcome whatever obstacles they face. To coordinate responses, officers across the country rely on dedicated FirstNet deployable network assets and other tools that provide tailored coverage during emergencies or major events with high demand for connectivity – like Pro Football’s Big Game.

The Michigan State Police found deployables so useful that they purchased a Compact Rapid Deployable (CRD) of their own. CRDs link to FirstNet via satellite and do not rely on commercial power availability, making them ideal for use during emergencies in rural and remote areas, as well as areas where communications may be temporarily unavailable.  They’ve already deployed their CRD during a National Guard aircraft exercise and plan to utilize it during future events and disasters.

In San Luis Obispo County, California, the Sheriff’s Office also turned to FirstNet to help them protect the 3,600 square miles under their jurisdiction and work with neighboring counties during emergency situations. In the past, communication across agencies has proven challenging, as only some are able to communicate over traditional radio. However, with FirstNet, the different agencies can all rely on their cellular connectivity for fast and reliable information – allowing them to coordinate responses more seamlessly.

  • The SLO County Sheriff’s office also relies on FirstNet to connect their camera systems as they trust the signal to keep their cameras up and running, providing an extra resource and layer of community protection.

Going one step further to support those who protect us

Courageously dedicating their lives to protecting our communities, law enforcement officers frequently deal with stressful and traumatic situations as part of the job. As a result, first responders are significantly more likely to experience symptoms related to mental health conditions1.

This month especially, as May is mental health awareness month we want to highlight the emotional support and resources available to police officers through the FirstNet Health & Wellness Coalition.

Many police departments are employing the Coalition’s tools to invest in the health and wellness of their officers, including in New York where the New York State Sheriffs’ Association (NYSSA) and FirstNet are working together with the New York Law Enforcement Assistance Program (NYLEAP) to provide crisis and trauma trainings to Sheriff’s Office personnel.

The bottom line

Championing public safety’s connectivity resources is a responsibility that we don’t take lightly. We’re honored to be the industry leader in connecting the law enforcement community.

Learn more about the value FirstNet is bringing to the police community at FirstNet.com.

FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks and service marks of the First Responder Network Authority.

1 How employers can help first responders stay mentally and emotionally strong | Kaiser Permanente (November 2020)