As we kick off the start of the holiday season and give thanks for the successes of the past year, as well as the change underway in the public safety communications sector, there’s a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Here’s what we’re thankful for.
State 911 Grant Funding: In August, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced a $109 million funding program to help states and tribal nations advance their efforts to implement Next Generation 911. This grant program, which had been in the works more than seven years, will allow states to take a significant leap toward funding their transition to NG911 and improving emergency response.
Increased Competition in Public Safety Broadband: T-Mobile recently announced its intention to develop a public safety broadband offering pending the approval of its merger with Sprint, joining AT&T/FirstNet and Verizon. All major carriers will now offer a broadband communications solution specifically for first responders. What does this mean for public safety? The increase in competition for public safety’s business will force carriers to work harder to develop cutting edge features, functions and applications designed to make first responders better at their jobs, while also improving traditional communications network metrics like coverage, capacity and reliability.
A Fresh Approach to Addressing PSAP Staffing Struggles: Staffing struggles are not a new challenge for public safety. They have plagued public safety agencies for a long time and instead of improving, they seem to be worsening for many agencies across the country. The concept of workforce optimization, along with its core pillars of recruiting, hiring, training and retention, offer a fresh approach to resolving these struggles. PSAPs that have successfully optimized their workforces have thought strategically about how to implement these pillars to improve their operations and develop programs to identify the right people, put them in the right seats and make a conscious effort to sustain and retain them.
Accelerating Progress with MAPS: This year, MCP developed a strategic framework known as the Model for Advancing Public SafetySM, or MAPS, designed to help agencies build a blueprint for today and what they can become in the future. This framework can be applied to virtually any challenge a public safety agency may face, such as physical and cyber security, land mobile radio system replacement and NG911 planning, and helps support agencies’ development long-term.
Increased Industry Focus on Cybersecurity and Preventing Cyber Attack: Today cyber-attacks against state and local governments are at an all-time high. In fact, more than 400 have been documented in just the last two years on public safety infrastructure alone. As a result, the public safety industry has continued to place greater emphasis on cybersecurity and network management.
We’re also thankful for you – the clients and partners whose missions we’ve committed ourselves to supporting. Without you, we would not have reached our milestone 10-year anniversary and achieved the successes or reached the milestones that have come along the way. We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2020.