IBM Helps Chicago Cops Go Wireless

    November 2, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

All of Cook County, Illinois public safety communications will be wireless when IBM places a system to move data between phones, laptops, cameras, and digital video recorders.

The plan from IBM’s Global Services group will make Cook County and the 128 municipalities it covers the first in the country to have a fully wireless communication network, Wireless Week reported today.

All public safety vehicles would be equipped with high-tech tools and the means to communicate over a common wireless network. IBM director of wireless services Diana Hage said in the report that the County intends this to be a move toward video policing.

Vehicles equipped with wireless technology will have multiple methods of communicating with 911 dispatchers and other public safety centers. A module will switch between cellular, Wi-Fi, and iDen options for carrying signals depending on where a vehicle might be in the network.

The measures described in the report look similar to the ubiquitous cameras deployed throughout London, England. Cook County will start with 80 patrol cars equipped with cameras, and will also place cameras on poles throughout neighborhoods.

Hage said to Wireless Week that six to ten other communities have been in touch with IBM about similar networks, as they seek to use Homeland Security grant money to fund them.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.