ALLIANCE SPOTLIGHT: VERIZON
Verizon has supported the FBINAA since 2006 and has also supported alliances on the chapter level. These alliances quickly received overwhelming support by the entire association due to Verizon’s long standing commitment to the FBINAA and to the law enforcement community. Some of the areas where Verizon supports law enforcement include crisis response, supporting families in the event of a line of duty death, and communication during disasters. In addition, Verizon has supported the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum through donations and representations on their board of directors. Verizon is proud to be a close partner with the National Law Enforcement Museum which is displayed through the sponsorship of the Museum theatre.
VERIZON FALLEN OFFICER FUND
Beginning in April 2011, Verizon began a partnership with the FBINAA in support of Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty. In an effort to help the families of law enforcement officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, Verizon provides funds to the beneficiaries of fallen officers to help with immediate expenses. The FBINAA partnered with Verizon on this program and works to ensure that every Officer’s family knows that both the FBINAA and Verizon are there in their time of need. The FBINAA utilizes NAA members to coordinate and personally deliver funds to the families of fallen officers as soon as possible to help them with unexpected expenses.
IN TIMES OF CRISIS
Verizon also provides support to law enforcement during times of crisis, whether that crisis is due to natural or manmade disasters. Support includes enhancements to the network for specific cases or events and through deployment of portable cell towers. To accomplish this, Verizon has crisis response teams that are available 7 days a week, 365 days a year. These teams respond to areas in crisis or to areas that are in danger of crisis, regardless of whether the crisis is from natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquake, or from manmade disasters. Verizon’s response includes setting up and maintaining portable cellular towers called Cells on Wheels (COWs). These COWs are mobile towers and are completely autonomous and independent of stationary cell towers. Verizon also has cell towers on light trucks (COLTS), which have the capability of connecting the network through satellite links. Many of Verizon’s cell towers have backup batteries in the event of a power loss and in most locations permanent generators provide uninterrupted service. Verizon also has the ability to deploy generators on a truck (GOAT) for temporary power until such time as land power is restored. In addition, Verizon deploys mobile connectivity trailers for rugged terrain which are also satellite equipped. The response time for Verizon is fairly quick because the crisis response teams monitor impending potential disasters and immediately mobilize their resources, many times before the crisis even happens. When necessary, Verizon also supplies cellular devices to law enforcement for as long as necessary so they can communicate and respond.
Verizon has many resources that are used to help law enforcement and to maintain reliability of its network. One important resource Verizon operates are Network Operations Centers (NOCs). These cutting edge centers monitor transmissions from their towers and can identify automatically if a certain area around the country has a spike in usage. These centers and other assets are also very valuable to law enforcement in helping coordinate responses to natural disasters or some other event that may need law enforcement intervention. It is important to note that Verizon maintains two NOC’s which are independent of each other and are located in different parts of the country to ensure reliability during times of disaster.
Verizon authored preparedness articles regarding “Being Ready” for severe weather and “Virtual Survival Kits”. In these articles, Verizon suggests using apps to stay informed about weather and other emergency situations, and having numbers stored in your phone and set up under “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts. These numbers or groups will be contact numbers for close family members or friends to let them know you are OK or if you are need of assistance. Verizon also suggests using text messaging to communicate during these times because those methods of communication cause less network congestion and are more likely to get to the intended recipient. Lastly, Verizon suggests having a secondary battery source or connections like car chargers or solar chargers that do not rely on the standard power supply. These are important communication considerations in a time of emergency.
Over the past several years, the FBINAA has worked closely with Verizon and their management staff. Gabe Esposito, Guy Johnson, Greg Cappetta, Tom Ostrosky, Laurie Cahill and Cheryl McKey along with many others have supported both the FBINAA and the law enforcement community.
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