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Back to Archives | Back to February 2008 Contents 

Advances & Applications

Alert Technologies’ OpsCenter Emergency Management Software Excels during National Exercise

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management uses software developed by Alert Technologies Corporation of Pleasanton, California, to coordinate and manage state-level responses to emergency situations. Called OpsCenter, the software automates many aspects of processes, procedures, and methodologies in the state’s Emergency Coordination Center.

During the United States’ premier test for improving readiness against terrorism—the full-scale TOPOFF 4 exercise—OpsCenter met with overwhelming praise for very effective support to the coordination center. The software helped the state response community attain and sustain a very high level of productivity at full activation for the duration of the national radiological simulation. This included tracking and disseminating a high volume of information quickly. According to Ken Murphy, director of the Office of Emergency Management, “The software allowed communication and coordination with all levels of government with a level of reliability that a paper process has not allowed.”

According to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, TOPOFF 4 is “the largest and most comprehensive national-level exercise to date.” It is the fourth in a series of national preparedness exercises that began in 2000 to improve readiness for terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction. The exercise scenario for Oregon began with a simulated explosion of a radiological dispersal device, often called a “dirty bomb,” at 9:15 a.m. on October 16, 2007, on a Willamette River bridge.

During the drill, the coordination center fielded 89 requests for such things as radiation monitoring equipment, a decontamination unit, technical advice, a declaration of emergency, security, and supplies. They coordinated 157 response activities, including actions for decontamination, debris removal, fuel, and medical assistance involving specialists, among others. Messages transmitted between the center’s roles totaled 589. The system provided subsecond response for all but the most complex activities.

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SCRA and Tennessee Announce Records Management System Contract for Tennessee Fusion Center

SCRA and the State of Tennessee have announced a contract to deliver the Law Enforcement Automated Data Replicator (LEADR) records management system to the Tennessee Fusion Center. A central data warehouse at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will integrate law enforcement information from the law enforcement agencies located in Tennessee Homeland Security Region One.

SCRA is providing its expertise in establishing interoperability among public safety agencies. A team led by SCRA developed the Web-based LEADR information-sharing tool, utilized in South Carolina since 1999, with a grant from the National Institute of Justice. LEADR facilitates information sharing among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. LEADR was originally developed for the Low Country Information Technology Improvement Project (LCITIP) and is currently integrated into the statewide South Carolina Information Exchange (SCIEx).

“SCRA is pleased to implement the proven LEADR system in Tennessee after its success with South Carolina’s SCIEx program,” said Bill Mahoney, SCRA CEO. “This valuable information-sharing system was made possible through the support of Senator Hollings for law enforcement interoperability in South Carolina several years ago. The direction of SCRA, in response to its interoperability clients, is to deliver a network environment for interstate information sharing and for fused data from various sources to regional interstate agencies,” he said.

“Tennessee is the first state outside of South Carolina to implement the LEADR program,” said Brad Truitt, Director of Information Systems, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. “Quick access to records by public agencies improves crime prevention efforts any way you look at it,” he said.

SCRA is teaming with Scientific Research Corporation in delivering this innovative information-sharing technology to the state of Tennessee.

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3i Infotech Automates San Jose Police Department’s Citation Process

3i Infotech, a leading provider of mobile and wireless applications for state and local governments, announced that the San Jose Police Department (SJPD) has gone live with the 3i Infotech TicketWorks Solution for mobile applications for the city’s Electronic Citation Project. The agency’s paper-based citation process has now been replaced with TicketWorks, where eventually 600 police officers assigned to patrol will issue, collect, and record citations for traffic violations, DUIs, and other violations.

Officers are now rolling out 175 Intermec CN3 mobile computing devices and 175 Zebra printers to process citations, DUIs, and traffic violations and send the information via a batch transfer process to the police database. With the implementation of TicketWorks, the SJPD is issuing parking and moving violations using all the required state and local forms, including the California Ticket Format, Accident Report, DUI Form, Tow Report, Driver Re-Exam Form, and Driver’s License Revocation Form. These are among the many forms that have been created for use on mobile computing devices. Critical to the success of TicketWorks Solution is the automated interface to the San Jose court system’s database, which will eliminate the need to copy tickets, mail them to the court, and manually enter tickets at the court.

“The San Jose Police Department can now spend more time on vehicle code enforcement, as opposed to citation entry and correction,” said Chief Robert L. Davis of the SJPD. “The Ticket Works Solution dramatically decreases the number of errors and avoids the need to enter data into two systems. The technology will also provide us with the ability to access citation data during critical investigations,” Davis added. “Easy-to-use automated entry forms to the officers will be updated periodically whenever there are changes in city and state traffic ordinances.” ■

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From The Police Chief, vol. 75, no. 2, February 2008. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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