Tim Lorello: How Could Tech Infrastructure Help Tackle Crime, Make Maryland Safer?

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By: Tim Lorello, CEO & President - SecuLore Solutions

Technology is available that can help tackle crime and give law enforcement and emergency responders another tool to help them do their jobs. Over the summer, Baltimore police began utilizing acoustic sensor technology that can remotely detect the sound of gunfire and notify officers of the exact location within seconds. Other cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have widely deployed these gunshot sensors; and some have reported significant decreases in gunfire in neighborhoods where they were used.

There are other tools, too.

Wearable devices, sensors, and scanning technology are becoming commonplace. Advanced facial recognition, accurate license plate scanning, and fingerprint detection will help identify criminals or victims on the scene. High-definition streaming body cameras and wearable sensor-based tools will greatly improve first responders’ personal safety. Some of this equipment is currently available, but it will become more impactful as 5G networks emerge. Driving-assisted “super” ambulances equipped with CAT scans, x-rays, and high definition video will allow critical diagnostic tests to be performed en route to the emergency room and their results transmitted wirelessly to better prepare doctors for the patient’s arrival. Simultaneously, these ambulances can analyze real-time traffic data and determine which nearby hospital has the necessary equipment and available surgical rooms to best meet the needs of the incoming patient. Other solutions, like the ability of firefighters to instantly download building floor plans and blueprints, EMTs to seamlessly upload ultrasounds and medical scans, or police to toggle between robotic video and thermal imaging, are being tested and deployed today.

Though the opportunities are limitless, the bandwidth and coverage needed to make these systems a reality are critical. These public safety tools rely on the same cellular networks that connect your smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and other mobile devices. To fully realize and harness these many benefits, we need to more quickly install the high-tech infrastructure to support it. That infrastructure needs to support cybersecurity initiatives that will secure these communications, keeping the exchanged data safe from tampering and malware infection; and the introduction of such infrastructure will provide the impetus for countless numbers of “Internet of Things” device manufacturers to implement the cybersecurity measures needed.

That’s why the legislature must pass House Bill 654 to update our laws to spur the deployment of the small cell infrastructure and the devices that will use it, giving public safety the tools to keep our citizens and our first responders safe. These small cells will be the cornerstone of emerging 5G networks.

Certainly, the economic stakes, thousands of new jobs and billions in investment, are incredible. But what price can we place on the incomparable advantages 5G offers in terms of public safety – advantages that can transform our communities and save lives.

These technologies, tools, and devices are not science fiction. They’re available today. And legislation, such as House Bill 654, can open the door to them by passing and thus expediting a path to 5G and the positive future it can bring.

Mr. Lorello is president of Odenton-based SecuLore Solutions, a Cybersecurity company focused on supporting our Public Safety infrastructure, including our 911 Public Safety Answering Points that answer our 911 calls and our dispatch centers for police, fire and emergency medical services.

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