Columbitech Inc., a mobile VPN security provider, is partnering with Zco Corporation, the creator of PolicePad and FireTab, to provide police and firefighters with uninterrupted, secure access to public safety records.
The city of Lowell, MA, with a population of 107,000, will have the first police department to use PolicePad with built-in VPN functionality.
The software runs on iPads, iPhones and Android devices, providing access to 911 calls, warrants, vehicle registration, driver information, sex offenders and other persons of interest, fire hydrants and hazardous materials mappings.
The VPN is designed to eliminate problems with dropped connections in remote areas. It creates a persistent connection between the mobile device and the server as police and firefighters move around and switch networks or temporarily lose coverage.
“By putting information at the police officers’ fingertips, crimes can be solved faster and officers can stay alert to their surroundings," said Gary Mueller, vice president of business development at Zco Corporation.
PolicePad and FireTab provide out-of-vehicle mobility, use built-in cameras, support multiparty messaging and connect to surveillance systems.
Zco used the Columbitech Application SDK to integrate mobile VPN functionality. FIPS 140-2-validated by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, the mobile VPN is compliant with the Criminal Justice Information Services’ policy for law enforcement agencies using wireless technology to connect to federal systems. It supports advanced two-factor authentication with unique client certificates, user-based public key infrastructure, one-time passwords, smartcards, biometric systems, and software and hardware tokens. Information is encrypted, using up to 256-bit AES encryption.
"The Lowell Police Department is looking to meet the highest-encryption, FIPS 140-2 standards for CJIS data traffic,” said Kenneth Lavallee, superintendent of the Lowell Police Department. “Columbitech and Zco help us fully meet those standards.”