Thursday, January 13, 2005

Jamestown First City In New York State To Go Wireless

The city of Jamestown has installed a wireless network for its police force. Here's two takes on the story.

The Local News Side - courtesy of The Jamestown Post-Journal

Public Safety Goes Wireless
Jamestown Becomes First City In New York State To Cut Lines On Communications

By Loren Kent

The eyes and ears of city officials around New York State are on Jamestown. City officials marked the beginning of "something really big" as the city became the first in New York state to utilize wireless broadband communication for city utilities and public safety.

The "unwiring" ceremony at City Hall marked the beginning of a 100 percent wireless fidelity network for public safety communications in the city. "I trust that our local electricians have disconnected this wire from any power supply," Mayor Sam Teresi joked as he cut a wire representing Jamestown’s severing from traditional computer ties and marking the city’s advancement to wireless communication. "But, I want you to all join hands with me anyway as I do this."

Direct broadband access to critical information such as local records, mugshot photo displays, the sex offender database and other sensitive databases is now available through the use of wireless lap-top computers and PDA’s to city police officers working in the field. The city contracted with Tropos Networks, the leading supplier of equipment used to build metro-scale broadband networks, to create the communications system.

"Today, we have effectively unwired our downtown area using Tropos wireless fidelity equipment," Teresi said. "We plan to use the newly formed communications network to improve public safety and increase the productivity of our city workers out in the field." In this first phase of deployment, the city plans to use the new wireless fidelity network to enable police and fire department professionals to have mobile access from lap-tops and Personal Digital Assistants in the field.
See WIRELESS on Page A-3

"The Tropos wireless fidelity network in downtown Jamestown extends to workers and officers in the field," said William MacLaughlin, police chief and public safety director. "It allows workers to access multiple, secure databases that were previously only available to use in the police headquarters."

The city was able to make use of the new technology without expense to local taxpayers through federal grant money. "We were able to utilize money allocated in the 2002 COPS More grant, which was acquired through the Jamestown Police Department," Teresi said. "This is the beginning of something really big."

Public safety officials now have the means to view live security camera video feeds on their computers in their vehicles as well. After the public safety network is fully implemented, use of the network will be extended to other city agencies, including the Board of Public Utilities, Development Department, Department of Public Works, local housing inspectors, court and City Hall security, and other city government agencies to enhance productivity to the public.

"Police officers now have access to anything that is currently on our network 100,000 times faster," said Capt. Lee Davies of the JPD. "It is a tremendous advantage for police officers to have the ability to view mug-shots and other data from their patrol cars — it increases public safety and the personal safety of officers."

Wally Haase, BPU general manager; Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney, R-At Large and council president, and Anthony Dolce, R-Ward 2 and Public Safety Committee chairman, were also on-hand. The second phase of the wireless fidelity network deployment will partner the Jamestown Police Department with the Jamestown Public School system in improving school security. The collaborative effort is funded through the acquisition of a Secure Our Schools federal grant. "Officers will soon be able to view live video feeds from cameras located within the schools to assist with responding to incidents at the school," Davies said.
Send comments to lkent@post-journal.com.



The General Newsie Side - courtesy of WIVB-Buffalo:

Jamestown Police Department Unveils New Technology

Police in Jamestown have some new high-tech equipment to help them keep the streets safer. News 4's Kathy Swenson reports on the "unwiring" ceremony of the new Metro-Scale Wi-Fi network for public safety.

Jamestown police say it's not just new technology, it's a brand new way to fight crime.

There's literally no strings attached to this new crime fighting partner.

Every officer in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, is now armed with wireless information everywhere they go.

The Jamestown Police Department unveiled its new state of the art "Wi-Fi" technology Wednesday.

Over the past couple of months, a company called Tropos Networks worked to turn Jamestown into a wireless hub.

Eventually, Jamestown officials plan to expand the use of the Wi-Fi technology to include several public safety entities, including housing inspectors, court and City Hall security as well as other city agencies.



The Techie Side - courtesy of Unstrung:

Bigger is better in the world of wireless LAN this week:

Troposphere: Wireless LAN mesh startup Tropos Networks has unveiled its latest 802.11 deployment in Jamestown, N.Y.

The firm has put together a wireless public safety network that covers just over two square miles in Jamestown. The network uses 37 Tropos boxes -- 35 out in the open and two indoors -- each providing around a quarter mile of wireless coverage.

"It's quite hilly," says Tropos's marketing man Bert Williams of Jamestown.

The firm is also working on its WiMax strategy. Williams says Tropos is already in discussion with vendors about doing "some sort of interoperability partnership."

This is the first stage of Tropos's WiMax strategy, using third-party units to provide backhaul for its wireless LAN mesh boxes. Eventually, the firm hopes to develop its own WiMax mesh products, which should boost the range of its wireless products.

2 comments:

Ryan said...

1. so wait... are you telling me that Jamestown's cop-shop is wireless? Stop beating around the bush and just say it! hehehe

2. let's hack it! *evil grin*

Anonymous said...

Great, now they don't have to worry about lag, or a connection dropping as often when they order a dozen glazed from Tim Hortons.

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