Oakland County and Detroit public safety agencies link up to promote safety

All Oakland County and City of Detroit public safety agencies will now be able to communicate directly with each other and coordinate responses to cross-border emergencies thanks to the software of Oakland County's OakWIN interoperable radio system. Detroit has provided their talk groups and other technical data which the OakWIN software utilizes to make the communication link between Oakland County and Detroit police, fire and EMS radios. OakWIN is supported by CLEMIS, or Courts Law Enforcement Management Information System, a regional public safety data-sharing consortium.

"This is a boost to the safety of Oakland County and Detroit residents," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "Emergencies and criminals do not recognize borders. That is why it is vital for Oakland County agencies to be able to communicate directly with Detroit. CLEMIS technology empowers us to respond effectively as a region."

Detroit joins the ranks of Michigan State Police and public safety agencies from all counties surrounding Oakland which can communicate directly with Oakland County law enforcement and fire departments. Livonia Police and Fire departments also recently began communicating with the OakWIN system.

"Our goal is always to enhance our public service to the citizens of Detroit, which may include working with other local law enforcement partners," said Detroit Police Chief Chester L. Logan. "We are pleased to have Oakland County's public safety agencies join us in this spirit of collaboration to strengthen our technology and lines of communication."

Novi Police Chief and CLEMIS Chair David Molloy knows firsthand that enabling first responders in neighboring agencies to directly communicate with each other is the key to an effective response.

In 2010, using the OakWIN system, Novi and Farmington Hills police officers coordinated the capture of a man who robbed an elderly resident in his garage near 9 Mile and Haggerty roads in Farmington Hills. He demanded then grabbed the victim's keys, ran to a nearby vehicle and fled. An eyewitness obtained the suspect's license plate. That information led officers to the 20000 block of Woodland Glen in Novi where they spotted the suspect vehicle. Farmington Hills and Novi police set-up a perimeter using OakWIN and arrested him without incident when he returned to his car.

"OakWIN's state-of-the-art technology which provides interoperable radio communications enhances the safety of Oakland County and now Detroit residents by ensuring a timely and coordinated response among neighboring agencies," Molloy said.

OakWIN is an Internet Protocol-based radio system which requires specific equipment, software, and codes in order to be able to use and monitor the system. It utilizes the Open Sky technology developed by Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications, a company which equips the U.S. military. Farmington Public Safety was the first agency on OakWIN in 2003. The final Oakland County agencies came online in 2010. Southfield Police and Fire opted not to be on the OakWIN system. However, because of OakWIN's advanced software, they are able to communicate with all agencies on the OakWIN system and other agencies outside the county. OakWIN cost $47.7 million to implement. The system was paid for through grants and a monthly phone surcharge on all wireless and landline phones in Oakland County. For more information on OakWIN, go to www.oakgov.com/CLEMIS/radio.

CLEMIS (www.oakgov.com/CLEMIS), managed by Oakland County under the leadership of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, provides technical solutions through a cooperative effort that are affordable and efficient for criminal justice and public safety agencies of all sizes. By serving as a technical link among multiple agencies, CLEMIS promotes communication and sharing of criminal justice information. CLEMIS had its beginning in the late 1960s.

Since then, both its mission and technology have evolved through several upgrades to the next generation CLEMIS used today by about 100 southeast Michigan agencies which share information on the system and more than 200 public safety agencies which manage their administrative tasks. This crime information sharing and management consortium is among the largest of its kind in the United States.

Published: Tue, May 21, 2013