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Advances & Applications

Where do the good ideas come from? In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about — and benefit from — some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.

Tallahassee–Leon County GIS Rolls Out First Phase of Incident Management System

Tallahassee–Leon County Geographic Information System (TLC GIS), a partnership program of the City of Tallahassee, Leon County, and the Leon County Property Appraiser’s Office in Florida, recently rolled out the first phase of an ESRI ArcGIS Server technology-based incident management system known as the Emergency Operations Center Incident Mapper (EOC Incident Mapper).

The system complements existing communication networks in organizing, analyzing, and displaying GIS information in an easy-to-understand “big picture” format. It displays real-time disaster activities and, once fully deployed, will support all phases of the disaster management cycle, including preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery.

“The GIS technology has allowed us the opportunity to do things we have always wanted to do with the resources that we currently possess,” said Lee N. Hartsfield, TLC GIS coordinator. “We see it as a visual aid for Emergency Operations Center staff during a large-scale emergency or disaster. We tested the system in numerous exercises, allowing us to refine the input and outputs. The system will be used for all types of hazards including tornadoes, floods, weapons of mass destruction, and quarantines.”

The system organizes data and events into three basic categories: emergency service points, point events, and area events. It allows real-time interaction for managing resource and personnel allocation, placement, and routing.

The system can quickly adapt from a point event to an area event as the geographic impacts broaden in scope and effect. Users can track several common incidents occurring simultaneously, including automobile accidents, downed trees, downed power lines, power outages, flooding, and quarantined areas. The system indicates the status of common incidents as open, assigned, or closed and identifies whether traffic flow is blocked or impeded. The system enables users to respond quickly to changing conditions and new information, providing emergency managers with a real-time view of critical information.
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DHS Launches Multiband Radio Project

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate announces a contract award of $6.275 million to Thales Communications, Inc., to demonstrate a portable radio prototype allowing emergency responders to communicate with partner agencies regardless of radio band. Designed to be equal in cost, size, and weight to existing portable radios, the multiband radio will provide emergency responders with cutting-edge communications capabilities.

To support emergency response radio communications, the Federal Communications Commission has reserved the radio spectrum within several different frequency bands for public safety use. Today, radios operate within a specific frequency band and are unable to tune to channels within other public safety frequency bands. Consequently, emergency response agencies and support units that operate in different radio frequency bands often cannot communicate with each other. The multiband radio project addresses this capability gap by demonstrating a single radio that operates on all public safety radio bands.

“We are committed to identifying innovative technologies aligned with the communications needs of first responders,” said Dr. David Boyd, director of S&T’s Command, Control and Interoperability (CCI) Division. “By enabling seamless radio communications among multiple agencies, the multiband radio project represents a significant milestone in overcoming the communications challenges our nation’s emergency responders face during large-scale disasters.”

CCI will manage the multiband radio demonstration to determine how well the technology meets the critical needs of frontline emergency responders.
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New World Systems Helps Leesburg Police Department Update Software

The Leesburg, Virginia, Police Department has signed a contract to license New World Systems’ integrated Aegis/MSP Public Safety Solution on the Microsoft platform to replace its current software. The Leesburg Police Department selected New World to provide it with a complete suite of integrated applications that will improve efficiency with easy access to information and will eliminate redundant data entry.

“Our current system does not meet the requirements necessary for our agency to function as a cutting-edge police department,” said Chief Joseph Price. “We needed a company with a system that could provide us seamless integration and software that would not only address our requirements today, but is scaleable to address our needs well into the future.”

New World is providing Aegis Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Records Management, and Mobile Computing software, developed using proven Microsoft technology, industry-standard Windows Server and SQL Server. The applications feature a familiar interface and intuitive navigation. Through New World’s CAD, with advanced mapping capabilities, dispatchers will quickly collect information and effectively respond to more than 52,000 calls for service each year. Mobile Computing with Field-Based Reporting will allow officers to complete and submit reports directly from the field.

“New World is a perfect fit for us,” said Captain Clagett Moxley. “Law enforcement today is information driven. The decisions our patrol commanders and officers make are based on what information we capture and report on in our system. New World’s solution is one of the best products we saw that would most effectively manage all our resources in Leesburg. In return, it will allow us to improve service to our citizens.” ■   

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From The Police Chief, vol. LXXV, no. 4, April 2008. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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