November 18, 2009 By Bill Schrier
On Friday, November 6th at 1:00 PM, five thousand people gathered in Seattle to grieve for Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton who was murdered in his police cruiser. At 3:30 PM the killer was caught, after a week of diligent detective work, and through use of video technology. This tragic incident illustrates why first responders need improved technology, including a modern 4th generation (4G) wireless network.
How do I make the leap from the heartbreaking death of a police officer to the need for more technology, and, in particular, a high-speed wireless network for first responders?
First, I'll describe Brenton's murder. Tim Brenton, a ten-year veteran of Seattle's Police Department, was training a new officer, Britt Sweeney, on the night of October 31st. They were stopped at the side of a street in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood, reviewing Britt's performance in a car stop.
Another vehicle pulled beside them on the left side of the police cruiser, and opened fire on the officers at point blank range. Sweeney, on the cruiser's driver's side, ducked down and the bullets grazed her back, but the shots hit Brenton immediately killing him. The murderer backed up his vehicle, and turned down a side street, being careful not to drive in front of the police cruiser.
The murderer knew every police patrol vehicle had a digital video camera, but that it faced forward. He was careful not to come into the camera's line of sight.