Improving Communication Within Law Enforcement

Improving Communication Within Law Enforcement

The Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI is one of the top organizations for law enforcement and intelligence. The FBI focuses on missions including stopping terrorism, corruption, organized crime, and investigating crimes like murders and thefts.

FBI agents are on missions that require communication across several departments including local law enforcement when necessary. Communication in the FBI is important for relaying information in a timely and effective manner which is critical to the success of their work.

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In fact, one of the core competencies of the FBI is communication. Agents must be able to express information clearly, concisely, and effectively. To help the FBI communicate, many agents utilize a communication plan consisting of cell phones and two-way radios.

FBI often use two-way radios to communicate with other agents during missions. Two-way radios are the fastest way to get information across, and often the most reliable.

In this article, we will explain how the FBI can benefit from two-way radios and how to improve the way they communicate. We will go into detail on,

  • How FBI Communicate
  • Two-Way Radio Contracts for FBI
  • Use Cell Phones
  • Use Two-Way Radio Accessories
How the FBI Communicates

The FBI is an organization that works closely with law enforcement and other partners around the nation. Agents work closely with law enforcement agencies on joint investigations and task forces. In 2002, the FBI’s Office of Law Enforcement Coordination was formed to support these relationships and build strength in communication.

The FBI utilizes two-way radios to be able to communicate across various departments. The FBI’s fleet of radios typically includes Motorola XTS and Motorola APX series radios. These radios are rugged and dependable in all types of situations.

During tragic events like the Boston Marathon, school shootings, finding a wanted suspect, organized crime unit, and more the FBI team up with SWAT to quickly work to solve the issue. Having two-way radios during this time helps everyone stay connected and informed on what their specific job is.

Getting two-way radios for the FBI is not an easy task, contract disputes and bias over radio systems has frequently stalled the agency from upgrading their fleet.

Two-Way Radio Contracts for FBI

In 2015, the FBI tried to replace its 30-year-old two-way radio network. This was an effort to modernize the network and introduce new radios, but this investment shortly came with some disagreement across radio manufacturers.

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During their search for radios, the FBI only sought out a sole contract deal with Illinois-based Motorola for $500 million. The contract was shortly stalled due to other manufacturers claiming bias and the FBI was violating terms of the Homeland Security contract. This upgrade came with contract disputes from various two-way radio manufacturers including Motorola, RELM, and Harris corporations.

The FBI claimed their bias was due to wanting their radios to be able to connect with thousands of law enforcement agencies across the nation. The rival companies, RELM and Harris, claimed the FBI had bias towards Motorola and ignored interoperability standards set post 9/11. After September 11th, two-way radio manufacturers ensured that all two-way radios are set with industry standards and can interact with other radio models.

Aside from the FBI, Motorola corporations have captured about 80% of the state and local emergency radio market.

The Use of FirstNet Cell Phones

Many agents use cell phones to communicate with teams and departments. Today, cell phones can be equipped with FirstNet. FirstNet Authority allows public safety to use the cell phones LTE network. The network is dedicated to public safety and allows consistent communication during emergencies.

While cell phones may not be the quickest and efficient way to communicate, cell phones now offer cross-organizational PTT capabilities, fall back networks, and leverage the latest technology.

Sonim, a provider of ultra-rugged mobility solutions, offers smartphones with FirstNet capabilities. The XP8, XP5s, XP3, and XP7 are LTE android devices that are used for critical communications. These smartphones are designed to be functional during emergencies and other events such as natural disasters. Sonim cell phones now have a surveillance kit, radio earpiece, and radio mics that help enhance the way the FBI can communicate compared to a normal cell phone.

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Two-Way Radio Accessories Used by the FBI

FBI requires discrete communication when relaying important and secure information. When agents are on field missions, two-way radios are used to communicate across teams. Two-way radios have accessories that can help enhance the way they communicate and execute their duties.

A surveillance earpiece, like ones from Waveband Communications, provide a more discrete way of conveying information. The surveillance kits can be worn through uniforms to be less noticeable and still allow you to communicate.

A radio mic is a popular accessory used by law enforcement to easily communicate. The speaker microphone can be clipped to your uniform and placed on your shoulder. This accessory transmits and receives information, so you do not need to pick up the radio to communicate.

FBI is the top organization in investigation and law enforcement. The FBI must communicate with various law enforcement across the nation. Two-way radios help the FBI with communication and assisting with solving investigations. Cell phones with FirstNet capabilities help bring a more secure network during emergencies. FBI uses two-way radio accessories such as speaker microphones, surveillance earpieces, and receive only earpieces to help ensure reliable communication.