The District of Columbia Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) has won the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Excellence in Technology Award for its one-of-a-kind municipal wireless broadband public safety network.
The District’s Wireless Accelerated Responder Network (WARN) is the first citywide broadband wireless network in the world. The network is designed to demonstrate broadband public safety applications, such as remote video surveillance, chemical and biological weapon detection, bomb squad support, helicopter video transmission, in-ambulance pre-admission screening for emergency patients, and other broadband capabilities. The 12-site pilot network operates under an experimental license approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The IACP is the world's oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization of police executives, with over 20,000 members in over 89 nations. The IACP Excellence in Technology Award recognizes an agency's implementation of wireless-based technology to improve mission-critical voice communications, interoperability and/or data sharing. The District’s win followed an exhaustive and highly competitive review of applications submitted from around the world.
The District’s WARN network is available for use by District agencies and federal and regional partners throughout the District of Columbia metropolitan region. It also provides a fully designed and tested broadband public safety solution that jurisdictions around the nation can replicate if the necessary wireless spectrum is available.
WARN provided streaming video from federal and District vehicles for the 2005 Presidential Inauguration. WARN was also used to meet the special demands of regional events, including the national Fourth of July celebration. District public safety agencies used WARN extensively during 2005 International Monetary Fund events, and the District’s Emergency Management Agency relied on the network for video overview and Internet access for Hurricane Katrina evacuees at the DC Armory.
“Our WARN network is showing the city, the region, and the nation the many ways broadband can expand the tools available to our first responders,” said DC Chief Technology Officer Suzanne Peck. “We’re very proud our network has been honored with the IACP’s prestigious award.”