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News

Mutualink secures inter-force communications at Presidential inauguration

Mutualink : 29 January, 2009  (Application Story)
Multimedia interoperability platform for police services working together during the recent US presidential inauguration enabled using equipment from Mutualink
As millions attended the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, DC, law enforcement agencies were armed with a new interoperable communications platform that enabled security forces to share multi-faceted communications and video in real time. Using Mutualink's multimedia sharing platform, the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Police (WMATA-MTPD), United States Park Police (USPP), Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) and New Jersey Transit Police Department (NJTPD) were able to seamlessly communicate over disparate radio and telephone systems and share direct live video surveillance feeds with each other. Working in coordination with the agencies, Mutualink was quickly deployed over a two week period to provide key situational awareness and rapid coordinated communications response capabilities. Deployments included installations at agency headquarters, police dispatch operations, emergency management centres and three mobile command vehicles.

The participating agencies experienced and acknowledged the value of Mutualink's innovative capabilities, affordability and demonstrated functionality to improve real time situational awareness and multi-agency communications collaboration.

The Washington DC MPD's usage of Mutualink included command center remote telephone connectivity with local radio communications, as well as wireless sharing of video, voice and text with other agencies from fixed and mobile centres.

S/A Oglesby of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, Protective Services Division, emphasised Mutualink's regional interoperability capabilities. 'PFPA utilises advanced communications sharing capabilities like Mutualink to enhance its protective services and counter-terrorism missions. The interoperability usage of Mutualink's platform during the inauguration showed the value of seamless real-time communication with our National Capital Region partners, including on-scene streaming video for situation awareness,' stated Oglesby.

Additionally, WMATA Deputy Chief Jeri KaVon Lee, Administrative Services Bureau, cited the value of integration with existing systems: "WMATA is always looking for law enforcement and public safety technology solutions like Mutualink that are effective, low-cost and easily integrated into our existing communications infrastructure and work procedures. Since interoperability is key to improved readiness and response, I was pleased to see the collaboration and communication advantages Mutualink provided during the Inauguration for our connection with other transit and law enforcement agencies," said Lee.

Simultaneously, the US Park Police utilised several aspects of enhanced interoperability by sharing voice and video, including real-time streaming video from a cell phone, with other Capital Region law enforcement partners.

From beyond the Capitol region, the NJ Transit Police used Mutualink at its headquarters in Newark, New Jersey for real-time communications with Washington, DC law enforcement. Chief Joseph Bober of the NJTPD expressed his enthusiasm stating that "the NJ Transit Police Department deployed 8 Special Operations and K-9 officers to Washington to support transit security with our sister agency, WMATA. We utilised Mutualink to receive "on-the-ground" voice and video awareness of the event as generated by participating agencies. I was quite impressed with the technology, its simplicity and its broad capabilities."

According to Mark Hatten, CEO of Mutualink, "The success of this deployment in the context of a mission critical event like the presidential inauguration underscores that Mutualink has developed a very low cost, ready, proven and capable system that will support a wide range of advanced emergency interoperable communications needs. Our system is designed for plug and play installation and enables radio, telephone, camera systems and data to be shared on a real-time, dynamic incident basis. In these times of tight budgets, we have proven that multimedia based interoperability can be implemented on a community-wide basis at a very low cost with feature rich capabilities. We are most gratified that we had a chance to be part of this historic event, and were able to contribute to President Obama's security with a new level of interoperable communications capabilities."
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