MCP Insights

COVID-19 Has Brought Out Public Safety's Resolve, Ingenuity

Posted on June 4, 2020 by Darrin Reilly

Sometimes you don’t have a choice—an event occurs that is so cataclysmic that you are forced to do things you had no idea you were capable of doing, and certainly no desire to do them. Here’s a for instance. On December 6, 1941, the United States continued on its slow but steady recovery from the Great Depression, content in the cocoon of its isolationism. Things were getting better, fueled in part by the New Deal. And then Japan bombed Pearl Harbor the next day. In an instant, the U.S., its citizens, and their way of life were turned upside down—and a lot of things changed very quickly as a result.

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What’s Next? Conducting an Incident Response Review

Posted on May 29, 2020 by Chris Kelly

As states begin to reopen and communities slowly return to normalcy, organizations, including mission-critical agencies, must evaluate their responses to the COVID-19 public-health crisis and leverage their experiences to prepare for future crises. Conducting an incident-response review, also called a hot wash, enables agencies to identify areas in which they performed well, as well as where their responses could use improvement. When conducted as part of an agency’s after-action reporting activities, this review can help build a better incident-response plan moving forward.

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Why COOP/DR Plans Need to Consider GIS Data Maintenance

Posted on April 17, 2020 by Robert Horne

A couple of weeks ago, MCP’s Richard Gaston posted about why it is critically important for every public-safety agency, regardless of size and resources, to have continuity-of-operations plans (COOP) and disaster-recovery (DR) plans in place. This post addresses an element that is lacking in many such plans, a gap that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus—geographic information system (GIS) data maintenance.

For decades, location of 911 callers was determined solely by querying the master street address guide (MSAG) and automatic location identification (ALI) tabular databases. About a quarter century ago, GIS-generated data entered the picture—quite literally—as computer-aided dispatch (GIS) system mapping applications began to leverage it to depict 911-caller locations on the map display on telecommunicators’ screens. In the Next Generation 911 (NG911) environment, GIS data will play an even bigger role, because geospatial data will replace MSAG and ALI data as the primary means of locating 911 callers.

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Pandemic Underscores Importance of Public Safety Continuity-Of-Operations and Disaster-Recovery Plans

Posted on March 31, 2020 by Richard Gaston

COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, pandemic is grabbing a lot of attention right now, partly because we don’t see global pandemics in the United States very often, certainly not one of this gravity. But we do see other significant events on a fairly regular basis— e.g., wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, hazardous materials spills, network outages—that can disrupt or halt public safety operations.

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Cybersecurity and Public Safety: A Scary World is Getting Even Scarier

Posted on November 13, 2019 by David S. Jones

October 31 signified the end of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a topic of which the government sector has become more than just aware. Meanwhile, November 1 marked the start of Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month—an initiative being led by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). The call to action is for public agencies to encourage resilience through preparedness and exercises, and to promote smart, secure investment in resilient and national infrastructure.

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