MCP Insights

Five Things Happening in Public Safety We’re Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Posted on November 27, 2019 by Tessa Seigworth

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.

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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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A Few Words About Protecting Your Mission-Critical Facility

Posted on November 8, 2019 by Glenn Bischoff

It’s a crazy world right now, arguably crazier than it’s ever been. Hatred seems to be flowing in the United States like a river, and unrest no longer is something that happens on the poor side of town—look out your window and you might see it happening right across the street. People-induced tragedies seem to happen every week, if not every day, and many are on a mass scale. When they do happen, it no longer seems like news because we have become inured to them—in fact, if the morning newspaper doesn’t report on such an event, it has a “man bites dog” feel to it.

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How Public Safety Agencies are Navigating Change and Accelerating Progress

Posted on August 8, 2019 by Morgan Sava

MCP’s Model for Advancing Public Safety is Helping Agencies Build a Blueprint for Today and What They Can Become

Last year, the 911 Center that serves Harford County, Maryland, was having a hard time recruiting and retaining telecommunicators, a problem that is quite common in emergency communications centers (ECCs) across the country.

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How to Protect Your Siren System from Hackers

Posted on August 13, 2018 by Brian Malinich

Emergency siren systems respond in various ways based on the type of activation tone that is transmitted. The tones correspond to the type of event that has occurred. Sometimes they will sound in a continuous burst for a predetermined length of time, other times they will sound in a series of short bursts, and for the most severe events they might emit prerecorded audio that contains critical instructions, for instance evacuation orders in the event of a wildfire.

In April 2017, someone hacked into the emergency weather siren system operated by the city of Dallas. The sirens are intended to warn citizens of weather events so serious that they should take immediate cover. Most of the time the sirens are used to warn of tornadoes, which are quite common in the region in the spring. On this night, the hacker reportedly unleashed all 156 sirens in the system simultaneously. Some media reports indicated that they blared for about 90 minutes, while others indicated that they sounded more than a dozen times for 90-second intervals. Regardless, the hack spawned quite a bit of panic. It also generated a lot of questions from government officials, the media and citizens.

Last month, sirens went off in Genesee County, Michigan, without any emergency to justify turning them on. Reportedly, this was the third time the sirens were activated in a month without apparent cause, and county public safety officials believe that the system was hacked each time.

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