The entire world, including Law Enforcement, has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; Verizon is no exception. Through all of the adversity, Verizon has continued to accomplish its mission, and has also continued to support the FBINAA as well as all of public safety. Although our mission has remained the same, the way we deliver our mission has greatly changed. With more and more people working, studying and shopping remotely, there has been an increased use of our wireless and wired networks. Verizon employees continue to work and meet this increased need, and also continued to support and provide services throughout the public safety community. Verizon has always been a leader in the communication industry and consistently invests in the network. 5G is an example of such an investment, which has been deployed to many parts of the country. By investing in our infrastructure, Verizon is making communicating and working remotely better and more efficient. The differences between 5G and 4G are dramatic. Download speed of 5G can be up to 1000 times faster than 4G.

Verizon has been a longtime supporter of the FBINAA and our commitment has not waivered during this pandemic. We remain a Diamond level sponsor and continue to support chapters as they conduct training events. If a chapter has had or is planning on conducting their event this year, Verizon’s support is unwavering. Over the past several months, many training events have gone virtual, and Verizon has supported these events and will be participating in the NAA’s virtual national conference in September.

As crises continue to occur around the country, Verizon’s response teams remain ready and are responding to calls for help from public safety and others. During the first half of 2020, the Verizon response teams have been deployed over 400 times and had over 600 customer engagements. These deployments ranged from agencies requesting additional phones for specific situations to network enhancements in areas where additional coverage was needed based on the emergency. One example was when the US Navy Ship Comfort docked near New York City to help with the potential increase in COVID-19 cases. Our network and response teams helped get the ship connected and prepared the Verizon network to handle the potential increase in wireless activity. These dedicated teams respond whenever and wherever they are needed, regardless of the weather conditions or terrain. When they are deployed, they respond with everything necessary to make sure public safety has the tools to communicate. Verizon recognizes that communication is the lifeblood to public safety and we’re doing everything possible to make sure those communication lines remain operational. Verizon also provides priority and preemption to public safety to ensure communications go through even during a crisis. It is important to note that when the response teams deploy assets, there is no cost to the public agencies for these deployments.

Unfortunately, violence against law enforcement has not decreased. When a Police Officer loses his/her life in the line of duty, the law enforcement community and their families suffer dearly. Verizon remains steadfast in our support of law enforcement. One way in which we continue to support the law enforcement community is through the Verizon Fallen Officers Fund. When a Law Enforcement Officer is killed in the line of duty, Verizon shows support to the family of the officer with funds to help with immediate expenses. Verizon has partnered with the FBINAA 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. One goal of the Fallen Officers Fund is to deliver funds quickly to the family of fallen officers. To accomplish this, the FBINAA utilizes NAA members to coordinate and personally deliver funds to the families of fallen officers as soon as possible, preferable within 72 hours of the tragedy. During this pandemic, Verizon’s Public Safety Outreach Manager Mark Goodloe has personally stepped up the cause on behalf of Verizon and makes timely contact with the police agencies who have lost an officer. Mark works tirelessly along with the FBINAA to ensure that the beneficiary receives a check as soon as possible. Mark, along with other members of Verizon’s Public Safety Outreach Team, are former law enforcement officers, and FBI National Academy Graduates, who care deeply for families of fallen officers. Since the onset of The Verizon Fallen Officers Fund in 2011 through the first half of 2020, 1,486 Officers have died in the line of duty. Verizon has donated over $2.2 million to beneficiaries of those heroes. It is our honor to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Verizon is proud of the partnership with the FBINAA and when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and in person training events resume, Verizon will be there in support of these events.