MCP Insights

2019: The Year in Review

Posted on December 31, 2019 by Tessa Seigworth

This year has brought a lot of change, and excitement, to the public safety industry. From the announcement of 911 grant funding for states and tribal nations to advance their efforts to implement next generation 911 (NG911) to an increased, industry-wide focus on cybersecurity and preventing cyberattack, the groundwork has been laid for continued improvement for emergency response in 2020 and beyond.

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Why Public Safety Should Care About the Dark Web

Posted on December 12, 2019 by Mike Beagles

Today, more public safety agencies are taking a serious look at how they can mitigate the risk of cyberattacks due to the dramatic spike in ransomware attacks on state and local governments. Such attacks often result in hefty ransom demands, with reports of demands as high as $400,000. One of the most well-known ransomware attacks of 2019 impacted 22 municipalities in Texas, with hackers requesting more than two million dollars in ransom payment to unlock the data.

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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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APCO Preview: This Year's Hot Topic Will Be the Growing Cybersecurity Threat

Posted on July 31, 2019 by Glenn Bischoff

During the decade that I covered the public safety communications sector for Urgent Communications magazine, I always looked forward to the national trade shows and conferences, such as the one that the Association of Public-Safety Officials (APCO) will host in Baltimore in a couple of weeks. In fact, I and my colleague Donny Jackson spent most of our time in the educational sessions because we felt that was the best place to learn where the sector was heading. As important, those sessions are where one learns about the sector’s biggest challenges and their potential solutions.

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This Weekend's GPS Rollover Event Requires Public Safety Communication's Attention

Posted on April 5, 2019 by Dennis Matzen

Global Positioning System (GPS)-based time sources are used throughout the public safety sector to synchronize a wide array of systems and equipment, including radio consoles, voice recorders, and computer-aided dispatch, fire alarm and video surveillance systems. Such time sources, known as master clocks, also ensure that every system used by a public safety agency generates an accurate, consistent timestamp for every emergency event that requires a law enforcement, fire/rescue and/or emergency medical services (EMS) response.

An event that will occur in two days—Saturday, April 6—threatens to throw things out of sync, at least to some degree. GPS marks time by transmitting signals that indicate the current week and the number of seconds into that week. That data is then converted by the various systems and equipment into the more recognizable format of year, month, day and time of day.

Because the field that represents the current week is a 10-bit binary number, a total of 1,024 weeks can transpire—roughly 19.7 years—before GPS resets the week value to zero. In the world of GPS, this time period is known as an epoch. The first epoch began on January 6, 1980 and rolled over on August 21, 1999; the second epoch will roll over in two days.

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