Survey Highlights Mission Critical Technology Needs

Motorola Inc. and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) recently released the findings of a national survey to assess how public safety organizations use current communications technology and what future capabilities they would deploy to help improve emergency response, officer effectiveness and public and officer safety.

Key survey findings reveal a strong demand for technology solutions that provide advanced situational awareness to first responders, improve incident coordination and streamline emergency response. A top concern of first responders nationwide is their ability to react to natural disasters (65 percent), superseding both terrorist attacks (7 percent) and crime (10 percent). Regional fire and police officials dually note that advanced communications technology ranks as the most critical aid in preparedness and response both now and in the future.

While technologies are improving, community officials report that the greatest need for improvement from advanced technologies in public safety arises in terms of range, speed and availability (26 percent), interoperability (25 percent) and availability of equipment (17 percent). Topping responders' "wish lists" were rugged notebook computers, visual identification and recognition capabilities, and smart transportation navigation.

The survey also uncovered areas for improvement within departments, as well as additional communications needs for responders and communities. Community officials in both large and small populations listed mapping technologies, or GPS tracking, as the top tool they'd hope to see utilized as technology continues to evolve in the security and safety arena.

To access a full report of the study, visit http://www.motorola.com/FutureTech.

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