• Italian municipality deploys Hytera PoC system to solve interoperability issues between police forces

    Public Safety | Case Study

The Local Police and Civil Protection forces in the Italian municipality of Minturno use different frequencies for their communications, which hindered efficient co-operation. The municipality needed to modernise the communications so the two forces could cooperate more effectively when dealing with daily operations, local events and emergency situations. Hytera partner EasyPTT supplied a Hytera PoC (Push-to-Talk over Cellular) solution, which has improved the operational management and efficiency of emergency response by the police forces.

The Background

The municipality of Minturno is located in the province of Latina, which lies within the wider Lazio region. The municipality is located in a geographically complex area, approximately halfway between Rome and Naples, with a maritime coast and a mountainous hinterland. The complexity of the terrain makes it challenging to deliver full radio coverage across the area.

However, the need for efficient communication between the Civil Protection and the Local Police is essential when it comes to dealing with emergency situations such as natural disasters, road accidents, maritime accidents and public safety situations, which may extend to areas located outside the municipality.

Area of Minturno, Italy

The Challenge

The major challenge facing the municipality of Minturno was that the traditional communication systems in use, which consisted of a mix of analogue radios, Digital Mobile Radios (DMRs) and mobile phones, had significant limitations. Problems included limited coverage and a lack of advanced features such as geolocation services, SOS functions and the ability to create instant dynamic talk groups.

In addition, the DMR repeaters distributed throughout the territory are unable to provide full coverage in a joined-up way. Furthermore, communications and coordination between Local Police and Civil Protection are often complicated by the different frequencies used and the impossibility of locating the position of all personnel in the field from the operations centre.

This lack of communications interoperability made coordination between the two forces difficult and ineffective, leading to delays in responding efficiently to complex emergency situations. A solution had to be found to overcome the lack of interoperability, deliver wider coverage, and to provide a range of new features.

The Solution

EasyPTT and Hytera implemented a cellular network-based PoC communication system comprising a Hytera HyTalk management platform with web dispatch facilities and 20 Hytera PNC360S hand portable radio terminals.

A major benefit of the PoC system is there is no need to invest in any new infrastructure or equipment, as the solution operates over existing commercial cellular mobile operator networks. This makes it very cost effective.

Coverage is greatly expanded as the PoC system can take advantage of the cellular network to access a reliable signal in both urban and rural areas, including coastal and mountainous areas. The PoC solution supports instant PTT communications, deploying both individual and group calling. More than that, it also enables the creation of dynamic call groups. Members of both Civil Protection and Local Police can be included in the same talk group, enabling them to coordinate their activities much more efficiently. It is also possible to make calls to particular individuals in order to impart specific information that only that person needs to hear.

The integrated GPS technology in the PNC360S devices enables the operations centre to access real-time tracking of units in the field. This improves the safety of personnel, as dispatchers know where to send help if someone is in trouble. It also increases responsiveness, as dispatchers can quickly see which units are best placed to respond to a situation.

The Hytera PoC solution provided by EasyPTT has enabled communication between different police forces, which has helped to break down the interoperability barriers. It will also be possible to integrate the HyTalk PoC system with the existing DMR radio network to further increase interoperability.

The emergency SOS functions provided by the Hytera PoC radios enable users to report an emergency to the operations centre at the press of a button. This call will be given priority on the system, which enables a more timely response, helping to guarantee a rapid resolution of the problem.

Italian municipality deploys Hytera`s PNC360S devices

The Results

The implementation of the Hytera PoC solution has produced significant improvements in the operational efficiency of the municipality of Minturno’s public safety organisations. The municipality’s emergency response capacity has been significantly increased thanks to faster communication and the ability to locate units in the field in real time.

Both the Civil Protection and the Local Police are now able to coordinate their activities more effectively. This is reducing intervention times and increasing public safety even outside the municipal territory, as the PNC360S devices will simply continue to use the national cellular network if users move into an adjoining region.

The adoption of the Hytera PoC system by the municipality has demonstrated the importance of efficient and modern communication in Civil Protection and Local Police operations. This case study highlights how a cellular network-based solution, with all the benefits outlined above, can significantly improve emergency response and public safety in a community.

Minturno's experience is a model for other municipalities seeking to optimise their emergency and police operations through the use of modern communication technologies.

For years we have suffered countless problems with our VHF/DMR radios due to the very rugged terrain in which we operate. We are surrounded by mountains and the sea and we do not have enough DMR repeaters to provide full coverage. But now we have finally solved the communication problems that plagued us.

Hytera's PoC solution allows us to reach the entire municipal area. We can view the GPS position of each individual operator and intervene promptly if necessary. Communications are extremely clear and thanks to the web dispatch we can better coordinate the work between Local Police and Civil Protection.

In the future, we also plan to deploy various bodycams to offer citizens a service that is in step with the future. Thanks to EasyPTT and Hytera for allowing us to work to the best of our potential.

Michele Camerota, Civil Protection and Local Police Coordinator of the Municipality of Minturno (Italy)

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