Nevada Highway Patrol Leverages Cloud-Managed 4G LTE to Keep Tech Tools & CAD System Connected
Nevada Highway Patrol equips its vehicle fleet and troopers with a range of technologies that help them save lives. However, keeping those devices and applications connected to headquarters is no easy task, especially with hundreds of vehicles serving every inch of a rugged and sprawling state.
Since deploying Cradlepoint's NetCloud Service for mobile in its vehicles, Nevada Highway Patrol’s IT professionals have begun making fleetwide network adjustments with point-and-click ease — and from anywhere. NetCloud Service includes a WiFi access point, GPS and telematics integration, WiFi-as-WAN, and cloud configuration and troubleshooting, all delivered via an in-vehicle LTE router. Remote management and reliable, carrier-flexible LTE connectivity for technologies such as computer-aided dispatch (CAD) allow troopers to focus on their mission: to promote safety on Nevada highways.
Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP), a division of the Nevada Department of Public Safety, employs 482 commissioned officers and 100 civilians who “promote safety on Nevada highways by providing law enforcement traffic services to the motoring public.” NHP uses a fleet of 544 cruisers to protect citizens and fulfill its mission.
NHP’s officers rely on several tools that require constant cellular-based Internet connectivity in their vehicles, and they need the ability to share data back and forth with headquarters. They use connected technologies and devices such as in-car video surveillance cameras, body cameras, mobile data computers (MDCs), WiFi, and GPS for real-time location information that enables the CAD system.
With more than 110,000 square miles to patrol, keeping NHP’s fleet connected to the Internet is challenging. Cellular coverage and signal strength vary a great deal from one region to the next. Because of this, NHP’s IT team began looking for an in-vehicle connectivity solution that supports multiple cellular carriers at the same time.
“As a highway patrol division, our vehicles have to travel throughout the entire state. It’s important for us to have a solution that works whether we’re in Reno, Alamo, or anywhere else,” said Lt. Chris LaPrairie, commander of NHP’s Research & Planning section.
Without the ability to make fleetwide updates remotely, managing onboard routers and mobile network connectivity spread across the entire state was painstaking and labor-intensive. NHP decided a cloud management platform would be essential for continuing to scale up its network in cohesion with rapidly growing public needs.
NHP chose to deploy Cradlepoint's NetCloud Service for mobile and Cradlepoint’s cloud management service. The service includes cloud management, a router with embedded LTE, 24x7 support, and a limited lifetime warranty. This solution provides the network reliability necessary to keep mission-critical tools such as MDTs, video cameras, and CAD available and effective 24x7.
With Cradlepoint’s remote management services, NHP’s IT team maintains network visibility and control of all devices in the field — from headquarters.
“It’s definitely helpful to have one simple package that includes all of Cradlepoint’s services, including 24x7 support. It’s a one-stop shop; everything from purchasing to managing the network is easier," Lt. LaPrairie said.
RELIABLE CONNECTIVITY ENABLING VITAL TECHNOLOGIES & OFFICER SAFETY
NHP uses Cradlepoint’s cloud-managed in-vehicle routers to keep all of their troopers’ mission-critical technology tools connected. Each router utilizes an embedded LTE modem with two SIM slots, providing the flexibility for the IT team to remotely switch carriers as factors such as signal strength and latency fluctuate.
Reliable connectivity and flexible GPS reporting through the Cradlepoint solution is essential for the division’s CAD system, which enables dispatchers to place troopers in the right place at the right time.
“Always-connected GPS is huge for officer safety. About a year ago, we had a trooper who was struck head-on by a wrong-way driver. The only reason we were able to find him in a timely manner was through GPS,” Lt. LaPrairie said.
REMOTE MANAGEMENT FOR FASTER & EASIER DEPLOYMENT & TROUBLESHOOTING
It’s much easier to install Cradlepoint services than NHP’s old solution, because the IT team uses the group configurations feature in Cradlepoint’s cloud management service, which enables zero-touch deployment and excellent scalability.
“Remote network management, through NetCloud Manager, has helped us tremendously. If we want to configure 50 modems, we just point and click from headquarters. With other solutions, we’d have to go to each vehicle and individually program each one, modem by modem,” Lt. LaPrairie said.
Later, when updates such as new modem firmware are released, NHP can push those out to the entire fleet simultaneously.
“Using NetCloud Manager has significantly reduced our workload. Whether it’s a minor fix or a modem firmware update, we can handle it any time and from anywhere — with instant results at the edge of the network," Lt. LaPrairie said.
DEPENDABLE WIFI ENABLING MISSION-CRITICAL WORK BEYOND THE VEHICLE
Troopers need access to their most important technologies throughout the scene of an emergency, not just when they’re sitting in their cars. Cradlepoint delivers WiFi in and around their vehicles, which helps them complete their work more efficiently.
“Our officers have removable tablets. If they’re outside the car and need network access, they use WiFi provided by Cradlepoint to issue citations, complete and send accident reports, and fulfill other mission-critical tasks — which really increases efficiency,” LaPrairie said.
CJIS-CONFORMANT SECURITY FEATURES PROTECTING SENSITIVE INFORMATION
Cradlepoint solutions are conformant with the Criminal Justice Information Services Security Policy (CJIS), which is a mandatory part of NHP’s ongoing efforts to protect sensitive citizen information. These all-in-one mobile routers include a built-in firewall and support for encrypted VPN tunnels.
Cradlepoint devices also provide seamless integration with cloud-based, third-party security applications such as intrusion-prevention system and intrusion-detection system (IPS/IDS).