Absolute Secure Access Enables Technology Upgrade, Removes Management Complexity

Absolute Secure Access Helps the Waterloo Regional Police Service Make Managing Mobile Connectivity Easier

Police technology is continually evolving, and the Waterloo Regional Police Service needed a connectivity upgrade to keep up. In addition to their own jurisdiction, their technology decisions would also impact surrounding police agencies through their leading role with the Police Regionalized Information Data Entry (PRIDE), a regional consortium of police agencies.

The Story

Simplify Management and Ensure a Seamless User Experience

Simplifying management and ensuring a seamless user experience are two items on many organizations’ wish lists regarding mobile connectivity. The Waterloo Regional Police Service is no different. As part of PRIDE , the police force knew it required an upgrade to meet its connectivity needs. PRIDE is a consortium of five police services,” explains Dave Timbury, Infrastructure Manager for both Waterloo Regional Police Service and PRIDE. “It’s a cooperative venture. We run the data center and the technology for the four other police services. They’re separate services, with separate Active Directory domains, but we share data.”

However, “we try to keep everybody’s technology the same as far as hardware and software in the vehicles,” according to Mobile Workstation Technician Russ Bishop. Connectivity had been via a private radio system using a licensed spectrum in the 450 MHz range, and as Bishop details, it had met the prior need. “We had pretty good coverage because of the frequency,” Bishop says. “We were dealing with just text back and forth. It was private, so we weren’t worried about it being open to the public. It had aggressive compression and decompression, so there was no way anybody was going to look at the data.” But the limitations were becoming more apparent. “With the ever-evolving police environment, we have to be able to connect to networks outside of our own from time to time,” Bishop declares. “We needed to move forward and were looking at cellular as the next technology to go mainstream.”

Security Challenges


Secure and
Controlled Access

Streamlines and
Simplifies Management

"Anything that makes my life easier from an installation and configuration standpoint, the better it is. I’m a one-man show for these agencies. I don’t have to babysit Absolute Secure Access."


The Solutions

How They Did It

Speedy and Seamless Implementation

“Talking to other police agencies in southern Ontario, Absolute’s name came up a lot,” Bishop continues. “So we contacted ConvergentIS here in Canada, who set up a proof of concept for us. Within a day, we had the server set up and within a week we were testing with clients in the field. Within a couple of months, we were in production, rolling it out to our fleet of 240 cars. There were no major hiccups. Right out of the box, Absolute Secure Access worked the way we had hoped.”

Supporting Various Policing Technologies to Improve User Experience With Officers

Bishop ticks off some of the technologies the new implementation supports: dispatch, records management, links to the Ministry of Transportation for driver’s licenses and insurance checks, 3D barcode readers, and two-factor authentication using smart cards. Officers have access to the departmental intranet for accessing email and job-specific information. “We also have license plate reading technology installed in some of our cars,” he adds. “The daily database download can put a strain on the mobile network, but Absolute’s compression reduces that load. There is no impact that our end users see during the course of their shift.”

Secure, Reliable Access for the Anywhere Workforce

The police chief and senior deputies have Absolute Secure Access on their tablets and laptops for security purposes. They can take them outside the office without concerns over the devices being lost or stolen because the device can be logged in only if it connects via the VPN. “Besides,” asserts Timbury, “the biggest advantage for the senior staff is they have persistent connections, they can map drives, they have a full desktop experience. With Absolute Secure Access, it’s as if they’re in the office. It gives us more functionality than just a remote entry.”

"We needed a solution that would be able to cope with different police agencies logging into a central location. One that was approved by our main governing body regarding how we connect to various types of networks . And one that could enforce custom policies while being easy to configure and maintain."


The Results

Improved User Experience = Reduced IT Support Tickets

Overall, this seamless user experience is incredibly easy to manage. “I might see one trouble ticket every month or so, and those aren’t really due to Absolute Secure Access, it’s end-user problems,” states Bishop.

For the Waterloo Regional Police Service, Absolute Secure Access:

  • Provides resilient connections despite challenging coverage conditions
  • Allows controlled access based on organizational role
  • Streamlines and simplifies management

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