MCP Helps Carroll County Move Closer to NG911 by Supporting Its GIS Efforts
- A county in Maryland needed to develop a plan to create and maintain GIS data and continue the migration to Next Generation 911 after a key GIS professional retired.
- GIS plays an essential role in the transition from legacy 911 service to NG911 service, which will rely on GIS-generated geospatial data to locate callers, route calls correctly, and dispatch the appropriate emegency response.
- The county partnered with Mission Critical Partners to assume the duties of the PSAP's departed GIS professional and provide a Model for Advancing Public Safety (MAPS) assessment that would act as a roadmap for implementing NG911 service within its jurisdiction.
Carroll County is nestled in the center of Maryland and contains a mix of rural and suburban land with eight incorporated municipalities within its 453 square miles. It is part of the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson metropolitian statistical area, which is the 20th-largest market in the United States with more than 2.6 million residents.
A GIS analyst for public safety in Carroll County was dedicated to supporting the specific needs of the public safety answering point (PSAP), such as creating and maintaining foundational GIS layers, including road centerlines and address points. This position went vacant due to a retirement. Meanwhile, the county's Department of Public Safety is transitioning from legacy 911 service to Next Generation 911 service, which will rely on GIS-generated geospatial data to locate callers, route calls correctly, and dispatch the appropriate emergency response. This transition was made more challenging due to the GIS position vacancy.
Mission Critical Partners (MCP) supported the county on several levels.
- The first was to assume the duties of the departed GIS professional, who took a lot of institutional knowledge with him when he retired.
- The second major initiative of this engagement involves MCP's analysis of the readiness of the county's GIS staff and data to support NG911 service. NG911 redefines the fundamental processes used to connect a 911 caller to PSAPs. At the foundation of NG911 is GIS data and analytics. To perform this analysis, MCP used a proprietary methodology called the Model for Advancing Public Safety (MAPS). A key MAPS element is a color-coded, visual blueprint that depicts the status of each factor that was assessed, indicating which factors which are NG911-ready, which are at risk but not a high priority, and which are high risk.
In addition to supporting the county's GIS needs during the transition, MCP produced a comprehensive report based on its MAPS assessment. The report provides the county with a roadmap for implementing NG911 service within its jurisdiction.
According the Carroll County's GIS Division Manager Tom Dowd, "MCP really filled the void. Their experience was key—a lot of what we were running into, they've seen before. They gave us clear answers to a lot of different questions, and the confidence to know we're moving in the right direction."