FirstNet Access for Motorcycle Cops in California


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In a crisis situation, a motorcycle policeman has the maneuverability to be the first on the scene but will arrive with limited resources. As State Tech Magazine reports, officers are now being equipped with Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 detachable notebook computers. If emergency assistance is needed, FirstNet responders can be summoned immediately since the computers are linked to the FirstNet network.

“California state and local agencies have used FirstNet in a variety of ways,” stated Dave Buchanan, director of public safety engagement for the First Responder Network Authority. “California Highway Patrol has taken a huge step forward by ensuring officers have secure, reliable communications for their everyday operations. As FirstNet users, they now have access to adopt even more applications that are designed specifically for them.” 

The Toughbooks include a FirstNet SIM card, necessary for connecting to FirstNet’s dedicated and highly secure core network. Devices are considered “FirstNet Ready” and support access to Band 14, the Congressionally mandated radio spectrum in the 700 MHz range set aside for this purpose. They are also highly portable and can fit in a patrol officer’s saddlebag.

In addition to providing quick access to emergency services, the devices make it easier for California Highway personnel to collect and process data according to FirstNet.. The on-site upload ability means that motorcycle officers will eliminate hours’ worth of manual data entry. According to Kimberly Holder, CHP’s CTO, “Adoption was immediate, and feedback from the field was positive.”

“Eventually, we want to be able to provide one device that can do everything,” said Holder, adding, “It saves time and effort for the courts and gets our officers off the street faster.” 

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