At 11pm several lights are switched on in an office on the 40th floor of a large tower block. Knowing that the building closed at 8pm, the intelligent building management system, which is being monitored at the front desk, alerts the on duty manager. Should he ignore it, send the on duty maintenance person to switch it off, dispatch a security guard to investigate further, or call the local police? The on duty manager, who is new to his job, isn’t quite sure how to handle the situation.
A speedy 911 response is the difference between life and death in many emergencies. Recently, the FCC voted to ensure citizens have even more options for contacting 911 by mandating that all wireless carriers and some message services support Text to 911 by the end of the year. This not only provides another option for the public to contact the authorities in an emergency when it’s not possible or safe to call, but also supports those more reliant on texting, including the 48 million Americans who are deaf or hearing impaired and the 7.5 million with speech disabilities.
The PSAPs’ Finest Awards ceremony has become an annual tradition for NICE at the national APCO Conference, and as is the case every year, this year we had the honor of recognizing four outstanding individuals. Here is a glimpse at our 2014 winners:
The public safety industry is on the threshold of a major transformation. Here are five critical developments that are shaping the public safety solutions of the future.
Trend #1: NG911 (including Text-to-911)
Last year’s FCC announcement of a voluntary agreement with service providers on Text-to-911 was a major milestone, signaling a shift how the industry is starting to change the way it thinks about Text-to-911 – from ‘early adopter’ to ‘mainstream.’ According to the FCC, dozens of PSAPs in U.S. are now Text-to-911 capable. A number of vendors already provide interfaces for handling text communications in the PSAP. At its August Open Meeting, the FCC will take up a discussion on establishing deadlines for all text providers to provide Text-to-911. The take-away: Text-to-911 is here; and other types of multimedia 911 communications are coming.
Over the past decade, the reliability and functionality of video analytics have advanced to a point where, for many security operations, it is no longer a question of “should we use video analytics?” But rather, “How should we implement video analytics within our technical architecture?”
The date September 11, 2001 is not only a day that lives in infamy, it represents the high water mark for the corporate security industry. Companies rushed to hire marquee security directors or increase the profile and cache of their incumbent CSOs. They issued mandates to rebuild or dramatically enhance their security organizations. Resources flowed to security and many businesses afforded the CSO unprecedented access to, or even a seat at the executive table. In this era the value of security was just assumed and security leaders could focus all of their attention on doing a great job of protecting the business without the distraction of having to justify their existence.
Two of the major topics of discussion at last month’s IFSEC International event in London were PSIM and Safe Cities, which naturally converge to help cities secure major sporting events. One such example is our recent project with Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, and host of the Commonwealth Games that begins in just a few weeks.
At the NENA Conference recently, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel on the “Synergy between 9-1-1 & FirstNet.” Joining me for this enlightening discussion were: Jackie Mines (Director, Division of Emergency Communication Networks, Department of Public Safety, State of Minnesota, Walt Magnussen (Director for Telecommunications at Texas A&M University and Director of the TAMU Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center - ITEC), and Amanda Hilliard (FirstNet Outreach Director).
The continent of Europe is made up of 45 different countries. In the EU alone there are 23 official languages spoken. One would imagine that on a continent so diverse it would be difficult to find common ground. But despite the cultural and language differences, the countries of the old continent do share similar challenges. Many of the European city centers are dotted with historical sites which impede new road construction. Massive investment in public transportation helps to address this urban accessibility problem while balancing the need to protect historical heritage.