May 2015 Newsletter

May 2015

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.

“Big Data” and Public Safety


Merriam-Webster defines “big data” as “an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools.”


For years, private industry has poured a tremendous amount of effort, money and technology into leveraging “big data.” Many private companies obtain a clear Return on Investment (ROI) from the energy expended acquiring, aggregating, analyzing, disseminating and acting on data. Utilizing data to improve the bottom line, achieve maximum operational effectiveness and perform predictive analysis to anticipate possible outcomes sounds like a no brainer – but the devil is in the details. There are a myriad of issues associated with data analysis including accuracy, timeliness, objectivity, quality, method of capture, access, storage, security, data curation, system capability, knowledge, skills and abilities of personnel; analysis, visualization, dissemination of information, quality control, archiving and purging.


When compared to private companies, who often have a large group of disparate applications and databases, the public safety community actually has an advantage in this arena with our Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Records Management Systems (RMS) and their well-defined associated data bases. In public safety, we are separated from each other by departments, sections, units, geographical areas, types of assignments and shifts. A CAD/RMS system essentially provides a central database or “one stop shopping” that allows us to efficiently and effectively share information with all personnel. These two systems and their associated modules have a tremendous amount of data that can improve public safety operations, enhance the delivery of services to the public, solve crimes and identify trends and patterns. That being said, many agencies under-utilize the information available to obtain additional tangible ROIs from CAD/RMS data.


Agencies that are looking to improve their use of “big data” are often unsure where to start or tend to gravitate toward thinking that utilization of all this information is technology problem. As with all major projects the first step should be the development of a strategic vision and plan. Important questions include - What relevant data is available? What can the agency accomplish with the analysis of that data? What goals and objectives does the agency want to achieve? What are their real life expectations? What are the scenarios that the data can have an impact on? How would the agency define success and failure in this area?


A critical success factor to leveraging CAD/RMS “big data” starts with people – not technology. As the saying goes, “garbage in – garbage out.” Agencies wanting to improve their data analysis capabilities must start with an honest, candid and objective assessment of their culture regarding the collection of data. Do all personnel who input data into the CAD/RMS system understand the importance of accuracy, timeliness and thoroughness? Or is data entered in a haphazard manner - some information is accurate and complete while other information is lacking, incomplete or inaccurate. If an agency wants personnel to be mission dependent on CAD/RMS information and make “data driven decisions”, everyone must be able to trust the decisions which means “trusting the accuracy of the data”. How would you grade the accuracy of the data in your CAD/RMS system?


Leveraging data is a team sport. Everyone has a role and responsibility for both inputting data and using data to complete their assignment. Establishing a culture of excellence requires a holistic approach. There is no single, silver bullet solution. Areas that typically require attention include:

  • The CAD/RMS System
    • What are the capabilities of the CAD/RMS system?
    • Does the agency have subject matter experts that understand all of the capabilities the CAD/RMS system has?
    • Is the CAD/RMS system being fully leveraged?
    • Are there additional modules or third party applications that could enhance the analysis process (i.e., business intelligence system)
    • Is the system capable of complex analytics?
  • Policies, Procedures and Training Instruction
    • What are the specific roles and responsibilities of all personnel?
    • What types of data should be entered for X type of incident?
    • What amount of data is considered to be thorough?
    • How should different types of data be acquired and entered into the system?
    • What are the time deadlines for entering data?
  • Quality Control
    • Does the agency have a Quality Control/Quality Improvement process?
    • Who is responsible and accountable for the overall quality of data in the CAD/RMS system?
    • How are quality and accuracy problems identified and corrected?
  • Personnel
    • How proficient are personnel at using the CAD/RMS system? (Note: The best CAD/RMS in the world will not provide much value if personnel are not absolutely proficient in how to use it.)
    • What are the knowledge skills and abilities of personnel using the data?
    • Are there easy-to-use query and search tools?


At Winbourne Consulting, we apply our extensive experience and understanding of information management, multiple CAD/RMS systems, 3rd party tools, and public safety to assist our clients in understanding all of the elements related leveraging CAD/RMS “big data” and how to provide timely, objective, factual and actionable information which can effectively assist the decision-making process.


Winbourne Happenings


Kane County Emergency CommunicationsWinbourne Consulting recently completed a project with KaneComm (Dispatch Center located in Kane County, IL). KaneComm has 19 users/subscribers, the largest of which is the Kane County Sherriff. The project was performed in two phases. The first was an internal review of the operations, as well as the subscriber agreement and funding sources. After presenting to the KaneComm Board, it was determined a follow-up project was appropriate to obtain feedback from the subscribers regarding the services and costs of KaneComm, including a comparison of costs with a similar Dispatch Center in the area. A survey tool was conducted to gather feedback regarding the recommendations from the initial project and to provide input on any other service or agreement related issues from the subscribers. The results of the survey were reviewed and follow-up phone calls were initiated to clarify areas where additional detail was required as well as for any area reported as deficient. A meeting was held with the subscribers to develop a set of solutions. The process clarified key areas of focus from the subscribers’ perspective and assisted in the development of a new subscriber agreement and the addition of resources.


Hennepin County, Minnesota 911 CenterWinbourne Consulting developed the technology design for the Hennepin County, Minnesota 911 Center. Winbourne Consulting supported the technology design for the new Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office 911 Emergency Communications Facility. This facility houses the Sherriff’s 911 dispatch center as well as Radio Communications Support group. The facility is almost $50,000 sq ft, with a budget of $34M. Hennepin County covers about 600 sq. mi. and has a population of 1.2M with its county seat in Minneapolis. Dispatch operations in the new center began in December 2014. The new facility offers dispatch services for 37 communities, including 23 law enforcement agencies and 21 fire agencies. Dispatchers handled more than 600,000 911 calls.


First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)Winbourne Consulting participated in the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Initial Consultation for the State of Maine, on May 20th, in support of the FirstNetME program. FirstNet is the federal agency charged with building the first nationwide, broadband, wireless network dedicated to public safety. The meeting in Augusta, Maine was the 29th Initial Consultation with a State, District, or Territory, and was attended by the Federal FirstNet team, the FirstNetME team, and representatives from the Maine Public Safety Community. This day’s business included a presentation from the FirstNet team on potential EMS technologies that could be accessible to first responders utilizing a dependable, interoperable broadband network, such as the kind that FirstNet will provide.


An important component of every Initial Consultation are the Use Cases – local events that taxed the public safety infrastructure in some way and illustrate to the attendees, the challenges and opportunities for handling large scale events with FirstNet. The FirstNetME team, which included Winbourne Consulting, spoke about 4 Use Cases that occurred in the Maine region over the last few years. These cases highlighted the unique and diverse environment facing the State: a large rural population; a vast and rugged coastline; a nuclear submarine facility; and finally a shared border with the French speaking region of Canada. In examining these examples the group discussed a 75 car pile-up on the major north-south interstate on a snowy day in February 2015, as well as the response from Maine firefighters to a rail disaster that destroyed a small town in Quebec and the impact of these incidents on the public safety community. These examples, and others, generated much discussion on how FirstNet could expand public safety communications capabilities and lead to more effective management of mass casualty events.


Industry Events


NENA 2015

June 27 - July 2

Denver, CO


No matter what your role is in public safety, NENA's Annual Conference & Expo delivers the education, resources, and contacts you need to be better equipped to do your job and actively prepare for the road ahead. Featuring inspiring keynote speakers, dozens of education and training sessions designed to inform and empower, comprehensive full-day and multi-day courses and workshops with real-world applications, unparalleled opportunities to network with peers and make the right connections, and an expo hall showcasing cutting-edge products and services, this is the must-attend event of the year for today’s emergency communications professional.


APCO Annual Conference & ExpoAPCO Annual Conference & Expo

August 16-19, 2015

Washington, DC



Gear up for the public safety communications industry’s biggest event of the year! If you are a supervisor, manager, director; telecommunicator and dispatcher; engineer/technician; 9-1-1 coordinator; police or fire chief, you’ve got to be in Washington, DC, in August 2015.

Articles of Interest


DOJ Announces $17M in Body-Worn Camera Grants


Radio Resource Media GroupThe Department of Justice announced the $20 million Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Pilot Partnership Program, which includes $17 million for competitive grants for the purchase of cameras. The DOJ expects to award around 50 grants, with about one-third of those grants going to small law enforcement companies, the department said. The grant program covers four different categories that divide agencies based on size and experience with the cameras.


Urgent CommunicationsNationwide wireless carriers alter proposed roadmap to improve location accuracy for indoor 911 calls


The FCC and the DHS have issued a joint bulletin on cellular, GPS, Wi-Fi and other signal jammers. Signal jammers are illegal and can interfere with operational channels commonly used by first responders, disrupting vital communications or affecting emergency operations. Loss of cellular coverage was also observed in these areas, which prevented 9-1-1 and other emergency calls from being made. Jammers can target cellular, GPS, Wi-Fi and other radio signals individually or in combination.


City of Fairfax, VA Launches New Electronic Alert System


ICMAResidents can stay apprised of activities, services and emergencies in the City of Fairfax by enrolling in Fairfax City Alert, the city’s new electronic alert system scheduled to go live in mid-June. Fairfax City Alerts will provide multiple options for contact, including an effective telephone service that will be used only in cases of emergency. The new service provider, Everbridge, also offers mobile applications for Android and iOS systems and additional features for users.



6 Big Data Projects to Aid Disaster Response


Advances in IT are providing new opportunities to improve disaster management. The combination of powerful computer systems and networks that include sensors, smartphones and cyber-physical systems are creating massive data streams that can help decision-makers during disasters. These systems need to be reliable and responsive enough to ensure that the real-time data they collect and process continues seamlessly during disasters. To address this issue, the National Science Foundation and the Japan Science and Technology Agency announced a joint funding program to support research that leverages big data and analytics to transform disaster management.