The International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference was recently held in San Diego with thousands of law enforcement executives in attendance. The IACP Conference is one of the largest public safety conferences in the world and there were more than 600 vendors and organizations represented in the exhibit hall. T-Mobile for Government was an Industry Leader sponsor at this year’s IACP Conference and had one of the largest display booths on the show floor. That’s a good thing because the company’s newest emergency response SatCOLT vehicle was on display and open for attendees to take an inside look.
While T-Mobile has dozens of special response vehicles designed for disaster and special event response, the new SatColt is particularly impressive. Designed to go anywhere, it’s built on a Ford F550 chassis and is equipped with a full complement of T-Mobile hardware capable of providing voice, data and Wi-Fi services. It’s self-sustaining, with onboard power, dual masts and multiple backhaul options. Engineers have room to work while protected from the elements and there’s also capability for remote or autonomous operations. Many conference attendees took the opportunity to look inside the SatCOLT and see firsthand its potential to support emergency response operations.
To further demonstrate commitment and capability to first responders, T-Mobile hosted a well-attended workshop, Disasters and Major Event Planning – What You Need to Know Before, During, and After, that featured Nicole Hudnet, the T-Mobile Industry Segment Advisor for Emergency Response and a 27-year veteran of disaster deployments. Craig Martinez, National Public Safety Consultant for T-Mobile and a retired chief of police, co-presented with Ms. Hudnet and together they fielded numerous questions from a large audience.
T-Mobile is known for its mobile communication solutions and joined with several partners to provide demonstrations of game-changing capabilities in the areas of software analytics, drone response, 5G routers, and rugged computers. Judging by the level of engagement by IACP attendees, law enforcement decision makers are clearly interested in the force-multiplying potential that emerging mobile technologies can provide.
Perhaps the product demo that drew the highest level of interest from attendees was T-Mobile Direct Connect, a push-to-talk solution that leverages T-Mobile’s robust network to extend and bridge conventional LMR communications.
“The fact that we can provide eligible first responders with priority access and preemption for data helps ensure Direct Connect will meet the needs of front-line personnel,” said Scott Wiley, Senior Product Manager for Push-to-Talk at T-Mobile.
“Public safety can use Direct Connect to cost-effectively augment conventional radio systems by using a department radio paired with a device like the Cubic Vocality RoIP gateway,” Wiley explained. “And smartphones like the Samsung XCover6 Pro now feature a physical button on the side of the phone that can be programmed to provide functionality similar to a handheld radio.”
Overall, the 2023 IACP Conference was a great event and T-Mobile demonstrated it is clearly ready for prime time when it comes to supporting public safety operations. The company’s Connecting Heroes program, which helps ensure every eligible first responder agency has access to affordable wireless service, and their expanding collaboration with key public safety equipment and solution providers, has solidified their role in enhancing operational capabilities and improving safety for first responders.