POLICE Magazine

JUL 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1001759

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Page 62 of 72

10 S P E C I A L R E P O R T • M I S S I O N C R I T I C A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S I n the 50 years since Alabama Speak- er of the House Rankin Fite placed the first emergency call using the 911 code on February 16, 1968, 911 ser- vice in the United States has evolved dramatically. Much of this evolution has been driven by technological advance- ment, with the introduction of comput- er-aided dispatch, mapping systems, and solutions that help public safety answer- ing points (PSAPs) pinpoint the location of emergency callers who are increasing- ly using wireless devices. As impressive as these advancements have been, they pale in comparison with the next wave of technological evolution, which is driven by the implementation of Next Generation 911 (NG911) and the na- tionwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN). e NPSBN is being deployed by the First Responder Network Author- ity (FirstNet) and its commercial partner, AT&T. Both are internet protocol (IP)- based networks capable of transmitting bandwidth-intensive data, such as stream- ing video and building floor plans and blueprints. is feature will significantly enhance law enforcement officers' ability to do their jobs and will keep them safer. Although the NPSBN is some years away from coming to fruition, NG911 systems are already being implemented in many places across the U.S. Such systems consist of two primary components: • An Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet), which is the transport platform over which an emergency call will travel to an NG911-capable PSAP — think of it as a very wide pipe. • Next Generation Core Services (NGCS), which are the functional ele- ments that enable emergency calls to be delivered by the ESInet to the appropriate PSAP. Practical Application So, what does this mean to the law en- forcement community? Simply unprec- edented situational awareness, particu- larly if NG911 systems and the NPSBN are well integrated. And, it is essential NG911 leaders and NPSBN leaders work together to ensure seamless integration, because having either one without the other will be limiting. Let's consider a hypothetical bank robbery to illustrate the power of NG911 and the NPBSN working in concert: • e bank's alarm system is tripped, which puts into motion several events. One involves triggering a protocol that re- sults in real-time video streams from the bank's internal surveillance system and the city's fixed surveillance system flow- ing into the PSAP; this video is pushed out to law enforcement officers within a geofenced area surrounding the bank's location so that they can see what is hap- pening both inside and outside the bank. • e alarm also prompts the PSAP to leverage the geofencing capability and social media to push out alerts to citizens advising them to stay out of the area until further notice; various social media plat- forms also are monitored to gain addi- tional situational awareness. • In addition, the alarm triggers a protocol that prompts the 911 telecom- municator to use the traffic-light-control system to turn all stoplights red within the geofenced area around the bank, ef- fectively locking down the area to prevent vehicular traffic from entering — in turn keeping citizens out of harm's way and clearing a path for emergency vehicles. • Multiple patrons send text messages to 911, and several of them transmit im- ages; in some, the perpetrators are clearly visible, and the telecommunicator engag- es facial-recognition soware to identify them. • A patrol car equipped with an auto- matic license plate reader (ALPR) system receives a hit on a stolen car parked out- side the bank; this information is relayed to the telecommunicator. • e city's gunshot-alerting system informs the telecommunicator that shots have been fired inside the bank. • e telecommunicator dispatch- es the appropriate emergency response, which includes patrol officers, SWAT, hostage negotiators, and a helicopter that hovers over the bank and live-streams ad- ditional video into the PSAP. NG911 systems also will enable tele- communicators to receive streaming vid- eo from citizens, which will also enhance situational awareness. For example, video captured during a domestic abuse inci- dent might reveal a firearm sitting on a coffee table—which would be vital infor- mation for a telecommunicator to share with law enforcement officers before they arrive at the scene. Getting Ready Without question, NG911 systems and the NPSBN represent a watershed event in terms of situational awareness. However, a few things will have to occur in concert for the law enforcement community to fully leverage the capabilities, including the following: • A key technical impact concerns Preparing for Next-Gen 911 Departments need to plan now to leverage the treasure trove of actionable data that will be generated by next-generation communications systems. D A N A WA H L B E R G

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