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Harris County Public Safety Technology Services

When you think about the Super Bowl® game, you probably think about the players, fans and halftime performers. Most of us don’t spend much time wondering how public safety personnel communicate. A huge part of putting together a massive event as popular as the Super Bowl game involves ensuring that the proper security is in place.

Prior to the Super Bowl, Harris County PSTS deployed new mobile technologies at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, but came to the unfortunate realization that the technology wasn’t ready for the front line boots on the ground. They began searching for a new mobile communication and collaboration solution and developed a list of requirements, which included voice calling, group calling, global directory, video streaming and sharing, location services, and the ability for field personnel to communicate with each other and command staff individually or in small groups. They ultimately turned to Mitel Networks and the Mitel Secure Collaboration solution for emergency service/first responders.

“The use of mobile apps during Super Bowl LI facilitated a paradigm shift in the way public safety communicated by augmenting voice radio with messages, pictures, video sharing, location services and more,” said Shing Lin, Director, Harris County Public Safety Technology Services. “We are leading the way in operationalizing the use of data in public safety and hope that the industry is able to learn from the great success we had at Super Bowl.”

    Goals
    • Responsible for hosting an estimated 1.3 million people in one weekend during one of the largest sporting events in the country
    • Need for several law enforcement agencies to communicate in real time with text, voice and images
    • Critical need for alternative to radios and basic cell phone applications that did not meet the security and inter-agency needs of first responders
    Results
    • Officers identified a suspicious-looking individual who had an outstanding felony warrant
    • Public safety teams shared photographs of counterfeit merchandise vendors
    • Users annotated and shared pictures to speed up the process of securing the event, including locating lost individuals

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