Atlantic City, NJ was host to a 70.3 mile Ironman Triathlon swim-bike-run event on Sunday Sept 18, culminating in a 13 mile run along the world famous boardwalk. The event occurred on the day after an improvised explosive device was detonated in nearby Seaside Park, NJ and then another explosion in New York City.
Immediately following these attacks, New Jersey law enforcement officials recognized the vulnerability to race participants and spectators and set in motion an enhanced security plan that involved the cooperation of Federal, State, and Local first responders and the vast video surveillance resources of the Atlantic City Casino Industry. By late Saturday evening, the New Jersey State Police established a collaborative network connection with all of its local community partners using Mutualink, the only nationwide communications platform that allows public and private entities to share their radio, telephone and closed circuit television systems in a secure, invitation-only environment. Incident Command Personnel had instant access to thousands of surveillance cameras that covered a substantial percentage of the race route, giving first responders realtime information on suspicious individuals or packages.
Additionally, the dissimilar radio systems commonly used by government and private sector partners were seamlessly patched together, allowing state troopers to have direct voice communications with private security officers throughout the race. Atlantic City Police and NJ State Troopers were also able to view live video and conduct simultaneous radio communications via handheld smart phones utilizing Mutualink technology.
The use of Mutualink Interoperable technology is not new to New Jersey first responders and their private community partners. Det. Capt. James Sarkos of the Atlantic City Police Department said, “In Atlantic City, Mutualink is the de facto method of communication, part of our SOPs, so when we need to share information with other agencies or jurisdictions, the technology is already in place and used regularly.” Mutualink was successfully used to provide enhanced security during the Miss America Contest and Boardwalk Parade the previous week. Law Enforcement officials cited several instances where Mutualink was used to intercept several persons of interest and packages during the crowded event, thanks to the keen observational skills of security officers within the casino industry, who instantly shared their resources with the Incident Command Post.
Submitted by Jeff Doran | Captain, Brigantine, NJ Police Ret. | Mutualink Sr. Project Manager