The Mission-Critical Resource Center

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Whitepaper: Proactively Managing Risks Using the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The risks that come with cybersecurity are often overwhelming for many organizations, and building a robust mitigation program is a complex undertaking.

There are a number of cybersecurity standards and frameworks available that provide business leaders and IT professionals with a set of measures, best practices, and tactics to foster effective cyber protection and address cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Some examples include the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Information Technology Library (ITIL.) In this whitepaper, we explore the NIST Framework, discuss its key elements, and highlight several best practices. 

What’s Wrong With Emergency Medical Services Today—and How To Fix It

In Summary

  • Emergency medical service has come a long way since their inception, but numerous significant challenges still exist for the agencies that provide such services and their personnel. This whitepaper explores those challenges and presents solutions for mitigating them.
  • Challenges consist of staffing, funding and billing, response and patient care
  • The solutions: apply for grants, implement non-traditional staffing models, stronger recruiting, invest in billing-friendly technology and establish nurse triage or mental health capabilities

Background

Prior to the late 1960s, emergency medical service (EMS) in the United States didn’t exist—at least not in the manner that it is provided today. Ambulances were used to transport patients to hospitals or other healthcare facilities—and not much else. In 1960, only six states had standard education programs for rescue personnel—paramedics and emergency medical technicians didn’t come into being until the early 1970s—and only four states regulated ambulance-design specifications. By 1965, the vast majority of emergency medical services from coast to coast largely were unregulated.

How Licensees Can Protect Themselves When Unlicensed Users Enter the 6 GHz Band

In Summary: 

  • Last year, the Federal Communications Commission issued an order that enables unlicensed devices to share 1,200 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in the 6 gigahertz (GHz) band. This whitepaper explores the potential impacts on public safety agencies and strategies for mitigating them.
  • “Interference is going to happen,” says Mark Gibson, director of business development and regulatory policy for Comsearch. “The question is, what is going to be done about it?”
  • The path an agency uses can take two very different tasks, and each has its unique advantages and disadvantages. The path an agency chooses will depend heavily on its financial and IT resources, whether it can be coalesce regional support, and the level of commitment it can and is willing to lend to the project.

Background

Whitepaper: ESInet Deployment: Unlocking the Power of the ESInet

In Summary: 

  • This whitepaper examines the advantages and the disadvantages of three approaches to provisioning an emergency services Internet protocol network—which not only provides the foundation of a Next Generation 911 system, but also performs other important functions.
  • Three ways exist to implement an ESInet: contract with a commercial entity or self-provision. A third model is a hybrid ESInet model.
  • The path an agency uses can take two very different tasks, and each has its unique advantages and disadvantages. The path an agency chooses will depend heavily on its financial and IT resources, whether it can be coalesce regional support, and the level of commitment it can and is willing to lend to the project.

Background 

Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems represent a quantum leap forward for the public-safety community and the citizens that it serves. Internet Protocol (IP)-based and broadband-enabled, such systems are capable of considerably more than legacy 911 systems—which is why many emergency communications centers (ECCs) from coast to coast are clamoring to implement them.

The Impact of Records Management System Technology Trends on Law Enforcement Agencies

In Summary:

  • Records management systems (RMS) are the backbone of recordkeeping for law enforcement agencies
  • They enable agencies to capture, store, retrieve, analyze, and leverage data and information to support operations from incident and crime data to personnel files and information
  • RMS technology has evolved substantially over the last several years
  • To meet the demands of law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, RMS providers have implemented myriad new capabilities

The Lean ECC: A Way to Make ECCs Better at What They Do

In Summary:

  • The emergency communications landscape is changing rapidly and emergency communications centers (ECCs) have adapted the way that they handle 911 calls and support emergency responders
  • Today, technology and science play a much larger role in the way ECCs operate — resulting in new approaches that are not only effective, but repeatable and scalable
  • One such approach, known as the lean ECC, focuses on removing extraneous steps in a center's workflows to help meet national standards 
  • This does not mean reducing staff — rather, this approach leverages an ECCs existing resources more efficiently to enhance the quantity and quality of what is being accomplished

The NIBRS Deadline Is Fast Approaching—Here's What You Should Be Doing

In Summary:

  • Law-enforcement agencies nationwide are grappling with their migrations to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), an initiative to intended to improve the accuracy, timeliness and transparency of the nation's crime statistics, which could be used to help identify crime patterns and trends, and ultimately, prevent crime.
  • Numerous challenges stand in the way of NIBRS compliance, and some agencies are at risk of not meeting the January 2021 deadline.
  • This whitepaper identifies the benefits of the migration and explores tactics that could help them meet the deadline.

NIBRS is expected to foster greater consistency in the data that is being collected for each incident that occurs because it has defined standard ways of describing an incidentand collecting the data, so that apples-to-apples comparisons can be made at the national level. There are several challenges that exist for law enforcement agencies, including the need to retool their RMS to comply with the new rules that have been established, cost, and organizational change. This whitepaper discusses the following:

Why Body-Worn Cameras Should Be on the Radar Screen of Every Law Enforcement Agency

In Summary: 

  • A concept that is gaining considerable traction in the law-enforcement community today is that of the "connected officer," which has at its core a plethora of mission-critical technology
  • Citizens are demanding more in-depth investigations into how field personnel interact with the public and apply force.
  • According to a study that involved officers on all shifts being issued body-worn cameras, 60 percent fewer incidents and 88 percent fewer citizen complaints about officer misconduct were reported
  • This whitepaper provides a close examination of the body-worn camera implementation process, including the necessary steps for a successful deployment of this technology

The body-worn camera has become a critical tool for law-enforcement agencies. This whitepaper discusses the following:

White Paper: Pandemic Continuity-of-Operations Plans

Continuity-of-operations plans (COOP) represent significant time and resource investments, but also are essential to maintaining the ability of an organization to continue to deliver mission-critical services during, and immediately following, a crisis. 

Whitepaper: Don’t Take Shortcuts When Developing NG911 GIS Data

Geographic information system (GIS) data is a foundational component in the migration to, and continuing operation of, Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems. But developing local GIS data so that it aligns with NG911 standards is a laborious and time-consuming process that can take months or years to complete.

Tips for Improving Building Health and Safety

In Summary:

  • As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused organizations across the country, including public safety agencies, to to revise policies and change the way they do business in order to protect staff members and the community
  • The current public health crisis shines a light on the need for public safety agencies to plan and prepare for contagion or widespread illness as part of the continuity-of-operations planning process
  • From small changes to operational policies, to large building design and development considerations, there are a number of actions agencies can take to protect personnel inside the facility

Maintaining Operations Remotely During a Public-Health Crisis

In Summary:

  • As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, public safety, law enforcement and other mission-critical organizations need to prepare for the possibility of remote operations
  • There are a number of options available to agencies for remote call-handling, computer-aided dispatch (CAD), and radio dispatch
  • Which option makes the most sense for your agency to protect staff members from viral illnesses, like COVID-19, with minimal interruption to operations?