With a consistent schedule of high-profile events, including the annual Rodeo and Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas; Harris County Sheriff’s Office, (HCSO), in coordination with Harris County Emergency Management and Harris County Central Technology Services recognized the need to dramatically update their communications infrastructure.
To provide connectivity for event communications and to better coordinate during any potential threats to the area, Harris County required a unique solution: a highly efficient, rapidly deployable public safety broadband network; one that could operate wirelessly, seamlessly, and securely within the large urban environment of the city.
The HCSO recognized the requirement to exchange real-time data, video, and communications feeds between federal, state, and local agencies including Homeland Security, Police, and city officials for crucial decision-making during major events, or during a disaster or attack. A more effective public safety broadband network could increase interoperability between different agencies and establish a secure, robust, private connection for critical communications while remaining less expensive than other options.
Harris County’s emergency communications requirements presented several challenges. Various county and city agencies required the ability to rapidly deploy their mobile command center to any site across the area and initiate communications in under 10 minutes with non-technical personnel.
In addition, the wireless platform needed to tie into their core private network, as well as handle the extended capacity needed to transmit HD live video feeds for event surveillance, operate data intensive application, and provide strategic communications between headquarters and officials in the field.