February 2016 Newsletter

February 2016

Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.

Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:

  • PSAP Consolidation
  • NextGen/911 Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Public Safety Communications and Telephony
  • Public Safety Applications and Systems Requirements and Implementation Support
  • Mission Critical Facilities Design and Fit-Out
  • 311 Call Centers and Implementation
  • PSAP Staffing and Operations Analysis

Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.

 

We are interested in your thoughts on the newsletter topics. To share them with us, please visit our blog or follow us on Twitter.

 

For more information about our services and solutions, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

Navigating the Landscape of External Data Sources and

PSAP Connectivity

The Concept of an Intelligent Hub

 

It is becoming increasingly apparent that PSAPs need telecommunications connectivity to other PSAPs. This shift is a direct result of internet based communication and social media. Crime and terrorism is no longer localized, with more and more criminals of all sorts being recruited by local, national and international organizations. On the other side of the spectrum is the ever expanding use of car-telematics and smartphone apps that include texting, photos and video plus fire alarm, burglar alarm and panic button applications being used by the public. Further complicating the situation is the fact that most PSAP centers operate as stand-alone entities with limited or no communications access to other PSAPs. There is also the public’s perception that all of the electronic information available to them is also available to PSAP centers, and they are often surprised when they discover that PSAPs basically operate with 1980’s technology. It is increasingly evident that the current infrastructure and technical limitations of PSAPs needs a major overhaul. While NextGen911 technology promises to help PSAPs cope with these issues; in many cases, the delivery of those solutions is still some time in the future.

 

While there are no easy answers to this dilemma; there are options currently available that can be implemented by PSAP centers independent of NextGen911 technology. First, let’s examine the issues with the current PSAP technology. Over the past forty years, the majority of technological advancements have dealt with Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems and mobile devices for first responders. While this technology has greatly improved dispatcher and first responder communications and responsiveness, it does not address the interaction of external data sources or connectivity between PSAPs. Accurate maps and GPS technology have also vastly improved responsiveness of first responders. Unfortunately, the advent of the cell phone, and now smartphone technology, has added challenges to the E911 advancements made in the 1980’s. Instead of providing Name, Address and Phone number information under the E911 ANI/ALI solution of the 1980’s, today’s cell and smartphones only provide a phone number, only sporadically is a location provided and usually no name. This lack of key information means that the call taker needs spend time gathering this vital information from the caller, especially if the phone connection is poor as so often happens with mobile phones. The other unexpected issue that has developed with cell and smartphones is the ever increasing number of abandoned calls that take up more and more of call takers time. Abandoned calls now can account for 30 to 60 percent of all calls handled by PSAPs in major cities across the country. While there have been attempts to bring external electronic data and information into PSAPs, a major roadblock has typically been the expense associated with creating a communications interface for the various devices to existing CAD systems. Not only does this typically require additional effort and expense on the part of the CAD vendor to create these new interfaces, but there is also the ongoing expense of maintaining each interface over multiple releases of each vendors’ product lifecycle. In addition to the device issue; there is also an increasing need for CAD to CAD (“CAD2CAD’) connectivity between PSAPs. Again, because of the expense and time associated with connecting multiple CAD systems, this option has rarely been implemented.

 

There is however a technology that holds great promise towards solving the issues of connecting electronic fire/burglar alarms, panic buttons, car-telematics, smartphones apps, texting, photos, video and social media, as well as providing CAD2CAD connectivity and abandoned call assistance. This technology is centered on the idea of an Intelligent Hub, and it not only provides the ability to connect any number of PSAPs that want to share incident and resource data; but also provides a portal to external data sources. Because the Intelligent Hub is architected to exchange data between two or more PSAPs in a coherent and cooperative way enabling data exchange between external data sources, it makes this approach an viable solution to a variety of challenges currently facing PSAPs. This solution provides a mechanism by which data can flow into and between any number of CAD systems, contains built-in intelligence that can interrogate data, and has a rules-based engine that can make decisions of what to do with the various types of data. The power of the solution provides the ability for PSAPs to have complete control of what information they want to share with others and what information they want, or need to consume.

 

The following is a summary of benefits of the Intelligent Hub technology:

  • A single interface to the PSAP’s existing CAD system.
  • For CAD2CAD purposes, it provides a two-way interface between two or more PSAPs/CAD systems that exchanges data including incidents, resources and alerts.
  • For external data source, it provides a single CAD interface that can handle all external information including but not limited to electronic fire/burglar alarms, panic buttons, car-telematics, smartphones apps, texting, photos, video, social media, etc.
  • Ability to reduce the time it takes to process an abandoned call by 90 percent.
  • Capability to share map and GPS information among all connected PSAPs and CAD systems.
  • As the Intelligent Hub is typically developed by a Third Party vendor, it does not require changes to the incumbent CAD vendor’s proprietary code.
  • While each CAD vendor must write to the Intelligent Hub protocol, this is typically a well-defined and all-encompassing standard interface that is well tested and off-the-shelf. This makes it much easier and less costly for CAD vendors to develop and maintain the interface.
  • An Intelligent Hub is generally more cost effective, configurable and flexible then either a Point-to-Point interface or a Message Broker.
  • Due to the standardized nature of the Intelligent Hub protocol, there is less time needed for development, testing and implementation.
  • This type of interface can be expanded to any number of PSAPs with virtually no limit, including County Wide and State Wide implementations.

 

In conclusion, the Intelligent Hub solution can support two or any number of PSAPs with different PSAP/CAD system sizes and complexity. Agencies have complete control over the data and resources that they share with others, and which data and resources they consume. All data rules and translation code tables are accessible via administrative security, and each agency can set them up independently of any other agency in the network. This flexibility and autonomy makes this solution far and above the safest and most cost effective long term investment PSAPs can make. Not only is an Intelligent Hub the best CAD2CAD solution, it can also be the bridge that will enable all participating PSAPs and agencies to gain access to external data sources including but not limited to; electronic fire/burglar alarms, panic buttons, car-telematics, smartphones apps, texting, photos, video and social media with a single CAD interface.

 

Winbourne Consulting continuously updates its technology expertise keeping at the forefront of emerging issues and assisting PSAPs and public safety agencies in navigating and adapting through the ever changing technological landscape.

 

Winbourne Happenings

 

Winbourne Consulting developed a detailed Body Worn Camera Business Case for the City of Virginia Beach. Winbourne’s focus was on defining the business opportunity and alignment as well as defining project objectives, requirements, and expected outcomes. Winbourne additionally performed a market analysis for the City, which included technical solution alternatives and financial measures.

 

Winbourne Consulting successfully assisted Arlington County in upgrading and modernizing its public safety radio infrastructure, to include negotiating a long-term maintenance and System Upgrade Agreement with the radio vendor, and making recommendations on improving the management and maintenance of the system.

 

 

Winbourne Consulting Is Proud to Support the NG911 NOW Coalition

Realizing how important the deployment of Next Generation 911 (NG911) is to public safety; several of the leading public safety organizations recently came together in unprecedented fashion to form a coalition focused on accelerating the deployment of NG911. These industry thought leaders include representatives from the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA), the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), and the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT), and is supported by the NG911 Institute, other governmental partners, members of academia, and public safety organizations. The National 911 Program Office is coordinating the work of this Coalition. On Feb 24th, the NG911 NOW Coalition publically kicked off its campaign and announced its goal: “By the end of the year 2020, all 911 systems and call centers in all 56 states and territories will have sufficiently funded, standards-based, end-to-end IP-based capabilities, and will have retired legacy 911 systems, without any degradation in service.” Winbourne Consulting is proud to be an active participant in this Coalition, with Lisa Madden, our Director of NG911 Solutions, chairing the associated Working Group within iCERT, and representing iCERT at this important announcement. More information on this important initiative can be found at: www.ng911now.org.

 

911 Goes to WashingtonWinbourne Consulting Participates in NG911 Panel During“911 Goes to Washington”

During the recent 911 Goes to Washington event, Lisa Madden, Winbourne Consulting’s Director of NG911 Solutions, participated on a panel of industry professionals to discuss the challenges and opportunities that is affecting the deployment of NG911 across the country. The panel agreed that the public safety community would benefit from a coordinated focus on five distinct areas in its effort to accelerate the deployment of NG911. The 5 areas included: 1) Funding, 2) Governance, 3) Operations, 4) Technology, and 5) Education. As part of this campaign, the NG911 NOW Coalition will be specifically addressing these areas as action items.

 

Industry Events

 

March 15-16 2016 • Kansas City, MO

 

APCO Emerging Technology ForumThe Emerging Technology Forum is a two-day event created to meet the needs of public safety communications professionals who want an overview of technologies that are on the horizon and address the challenges of the ever-changing landscape of public safety communications

 

https://www.apcointl.org/events.html

 

 

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week

April 10-16, 2016

 

 

40th LEIM Conference • Dallas, Texas • May 24-26, 2016

 

The LEIM Section of IACP has hosted the annual Law Enforcement Information Management (LEIM) Conference since April 1977. Now in its 40th year, LEIM conferences provide training, professional development, and a national forum for law enforcement executives, operational managers, and technology and research staff to share best practices and lessons learned on a broad array of new and emerging technologies. A Call for Presentations will open shortly for the 40th Annual LEIM Training Conference & Technology Exposition, which will convene in Dallas, Texas on May 23-25, 2016. More information can be found here.

 

http://www.theiacp.org/Conferences-Training#LEIM

 

Articles of Interest

 

APCO Launches Project 43 to Tackle Broadband Implications for PSAPs

APCO announced the establishment of the next in a series of projects aimed at solving the problems encountered by public safety communications professionals. Project 43, Broadband Implications for the PSAP, that will help telecommunicators, public safety answering points, 9-1-1 authorities, emergency operations centers, and others in the public safety community to embrace existing and prepare for evolving broadband communications technologies that will impact PSAP operations and support emergency responders.

 

http://psc.apcointl.org/2016/02/10/apco-launches-project-43-to-tackle-broadband-implications-for-the-psap/

 

Survey: Almost All Police Departments Plan to Use Body Cameras

Nearly every large police department in a new nationwide survey said it plans to move forward with body-worn cameras, with 95 percent either committed to body cameras or having completed their implementation. A survey, conducted by the Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriffs' Association, asked 70 law enforcement agencies around the country about their plans for implementing body-worn recording devices. Results of the survey shed light on the different policy approaches police are taking.

 

http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/gov-police-body-camera-survey.html

 

South Carolina Residents Can Reach Dispatchers In Several Ways Through New Setup

Last January, Kershaw County became the first agency in South Carolina to implement an advanced emergency 9-1-1 dispatch system. The next generation 9-1-1 system connects one county sheriff department, one emergency medical services (EMS) department, three police departments and 17 fire departments. This system provides residents with multiple ways to reach 9-1-1 and it serves as a lifesaving solution when calling is not an option. The setup offers text-to-9-1-1 capabilities, which gives the hard of hearing and speech impaired the ability to call and communicate via text for help. It provides an option for those in danger who cannot speak, such as hostages or victims of domestic abuse

 

http://americancityandcounty.com/products-work/south-carolina-residents-can-reach-dispatchers-several-ways-through-new-setup

 

The Public Can Help Guide Disaster Relief, Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security identifies a loss of network connectivity as a first consideration in planning relief, with being able to share data when communications resume as a close second. Response to those events illustrates the evolving nature of emergency response solutions, driven by technology that develops faster than the public sector can adopt them. The mobile revolution, fed by geospatial technology that turned cell phones into smartphones, gave the public the ability to generate and share geo-referenced and registered data. Geospatial companies have created apps that allow users to download maps and report forms into mobile devices, and then sync the data into a cloud-based enterprise system, even when Internet access is unavailable.

 

https://gcn.com/articles/2016/01/15/geospatial-response-public-contributions.aspx?admgarea=TC_Mobile