How a City Police Department Maintains Safety & Efficiency for Its Undercover Officers with Orion

Keeping police officers safe while undercover isn’t easy

Officer safety is always a top priority for law enforcement agencies. This Western US police force runs many covert operations, from surveillance of suspected criminals to going undercover at large public events.

These events, like marathons, parades, and public demonstrations, increasingly run a risk of violent activity. Police departments, therefore, must find ways to blend in with crowds. Typically, with covert work, several plain-clothes officers go into the field while a coordinator monitors their whereabouts from a van or patrol car.

Police department leaders needed a way to facilitate back-and-forth communications between undercover officers and supervisors without drawing attention to the officers in the crowd.

To maintain cover for their officers, police chiefs knew they couldn’t use land mobile radio devices or similarly bulky tools. They needed a voice wearable that was easy to conceal and easy to use without sounding like a two-way radio.

Solving the problem with Orion

The clear choice was Orion, whose lightweight Onyx devices hide easily beneath a jacket or shirt and require officers only to push a button to reach the monitoring team.

Importantly, teams can use Orion with smartphones, which are ubiquitous enough not to arouse suspicion as agents work undercover. Using Orion, the department was able to discreetly communicate with its undercover officers. They could even coordinate operations without adding bulky equipment or compromising their officers’ identities.

In high-risk operations like these, absolute discretion is required to maintain officer safety.

Not only does that mean discreet messaging while embedded in a crowd, but it also means protection from third party interception. Messages sent through Orion are streaming and encrypted, which prevents them getting into the wrong hands. This layer of security protects officers involved in ongoing investigations. It also allows officers in the field to focus on the essential work of policing rather than technical concerns.

All this adds up to a police force that’s safer, more connected and coordinated, and more heads-up than before. Orion enabled a level of situational awareness that many police departments strive for but few achieve. The powerhouse combination of Onyx’s discreet communication with Orion’s location tracking is essential to the continued expansion of the department’s undercover operations.

Read the whole story

To learn more about how this police department protected their officers with Orion, read the complete case study.