Baltimore PD uses FirstNet to transform public safety


Share this content


Baltimore Police Department has connected more than 3,000 officers, first responders and other key personnel to FirstNet® – the only network built with public safety, for public safety. With this tech advancement, the department is equipping its first responders with new capabilities and reliable access to critical information while in the field, allowing them to better serve those who live, work and visit Baltimore.

FirstNet is designed to improve communications across public safety entities nationwide, allowing first responders to communicate with one another easily and quickly during everyday situations, big events or emergencies. This network is integral to solving the communications challenges public safety has experienced in the past. 

Starting in January 2020, Baltimore Police Department began using FirstNet agency-wide on its department-issued smartphones, laptops, in-vehicle routers and modems. Additionally, Baltimore Police Department worked with AT&T to install in-building solutions at many of its facilities, increasing the coverage and capacity on FirstNet and helping to ensure 24x7x365 coverage.

These investments proved especially important in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As public safety personnel in the area moved to a more mobile workforce, the platform was crucial in the effort to respond and serve the local community as Baltimore Police Department managed public safety during the pandemic.

“FirstNet is an important part of our technology mobilisation efforts that assist our department in advancing our communications and policing goals in our communities,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael S. Harrison. “Having access to this dedicated public safety network is important in improving our service to our communities and working environment.”

Baltimore Police Department joined the platform to provide its first responders with reliable, modern communications tools needed to perform at their best, including:

  • One, nationwide communications platform that allows them to coordinate emergency responses efficiently and effectively across agencies and jurisdictions.
  • Always-on priority and preemption to give them reliable access to the connection they need – even when the network is congested.
  • A separate, dedicated and highly secure network core purpose-built for public safety’s sensitive communications.
  • Planned increases in coverage and capacity, enabling them to better respond to emergencies in all areas of Baltimore – and across the state.
  • Innovative tools – like relevant applications and connected devices – to give them more actionable information for heightened situational awareness.

“I began looking to improve and modernise our mobile services over a year ago and working with AT&T has been one of the best investments we’ve made,” said Edward “Woody” Davis, Chief Technology Officer, Baltimore Police Department. “The improvements in service across the department, coupled with the network enhancements AT&T has made with FirstNet locally, have greatly improved communications and interoperability for us. Ultimately, these improvements are enabling us to keep Baltimore residents and our officers safe.”

FirstNet, Built with AT&T is a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority). It’s designed with and for public safety.

“We’re honored that Baltimore Police Department chose FirstNet to elevate its communications capabilities,” said Stacy Schwartz, vice president, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “It’s our mission to give first responders the cutting-edge tools they need to safely and effectively achieve their mission. FirstNet will help first responders in Baltimore and across the country perform at the highest levels to keep themselves and those they serve out of harm’s way.”

“FirstNet is the exclusive communications platform being built with AT&T for public safety, inspired by public safety. There is no substitution for this dedicated platform,” said FirstNet Authority CEO, Edward Parkinson. “We look forward to supporting Baltimore Police Department and all of Maryland’s public safety community with FirstNet, making sure the network delivers what they need, when they need it.”

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox