Government agencies ultimately align to one clear focus: to help our cities become places where people and businesses want to establish themselves. Government leaders understand the need to improve public safety performance continually for our cities to thrive. However, these leaders contend with the fact that taxpayers want to pay less, but still expect improvements and advancements in protection, safety and service – resulting in the economic challenge of doing more with less. With the growing ability for the public to view performance metrics, citizens are now paying more attention and government leaders are facing increased scrutiny and added pressure to meet their expectations.
The public can capture images, send text, record video – creating data that government needs, and they expect government to be able to use what they provide. Just about every incident has someone there with a cell phone, ready to document it and share it with first responders. Data is streaming into government from virtually unlimited sources. Smartphones, social media, video cameras, sensors and alarms are giving public safety agencies the ability to see, hear and do more with less. Yet this abundance of information comes with an enormous challenge: How do agencies operationalize all the data that surrounds them?
This blog originally appeared on TMCNet.com – read the full article now in Internet Telephony.
Tom Miller is the director of government & public safety markets for the North America customer solutions division of Motorola Solutions. Tom will be speaking about Motorola’s Real-Time Crime Center solution on Sunday June 23 at the Technology and Innovation Task Force session at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For more information on Real-Time Crime Center, please click here.
Everyone loves a good police drama. But as the person responsible for the technology and systems that support 9-1-1 functionality in New Orleans, I frequently take issue with how 9-1-1 is portrayed in many shows and movies – and the ultimate impact that has on already growing public expectations. I have no doubt that 9-1-1 calls coming in as emails, video, tweets, and texts with photos attached will soon be part of our world. NG9-1-1 solutions are certainly paving the way for that to occur. But one thing is for sure – public safety agencies are nowhere near ready yet.
Many of us are, however, trying frantically to figure out how this brave new world is going to work. I admit I’m a bit greedy; I want real solutions, not just temporary fixes. Despite ongoing guidance from NENA and the FCC, some people don’t know what’s coming or how to handle it. And agencies across the country are not going to get more funding for positions, training, or people. I’m certainly not getting any more money to make technology improvements. Yet more data is coming in, expectations are drastically increasing and new technologies demand new skills. I may not see NG9-1-1 fully rolled out in my career, but that doesn’t relieve me of the responsibility to implement the required steps to be ready when the time comes.
An End to ‘Sneaker Net’
What I’ve learned since the post-Katrina rebuilding of our 9-1-1 operations and implementing Phase 2 guidelines to serve a population of nearly 550,000 residents and daily commuters is simple. Rely on the vendors you trust. They will help you implement the technology you need to work smarter and more efficiently. For me, that circle today includes Intrado for my CPE and Motorola Solutions for PremierOne CAD and NG9-1-1 Call Control.
Looking through my rose-colored (reading!) glasses, with integrated 9-1-1 client software, we will have the ability to answer voice calls and texts simultaneously through a single position, and the flexibility for users to handle incidents the way they want – using the command line, keyboard shortcuts or mouse. No more swivel chair integration, yelling across the room or copying data and walking it over to another position via sneaker net. No more distractions from multiple systems, keyboards and mice.
With the seamless flow of text and video into CAD incidents – along with data inputs we can’t even conceive of yet, just like the analytics from auto collisions or sensors that we didn’t think about a few years ago – our personnel won’t have to do anything different. They’ll have complete call control in one place. And since CAD is the center of our universe, it makes sense for us to manage and store everything there – voice call recordings, TTY/SMS transcripts, video or any information pertinent to an incident. So when that eventual court date arrives, all relevant data is easily accessible and in one place.
We don’t really know what NG9-1-1 will ultimately look like. The roadmaps, protocols and plans are all based upon the technology we can conceive now. The road will undoubtedly have many turns and variables. But I do have confidence that my vendors will help get me there. Contrary to the TV and movie portrayal of 9-1-1, as of today, we can’t take video or text messages – but when the carrier infrastructure is in place to reliably deliver them, we’ll be ready. We have to work smarter, deploy our resources and technology dollars more efficiently and effectively – but we’ll be ready!
Karl Fasold, ENP, is System Administrator, Orleans Parish Communication District, New Orleans, Louisiana.
At every moment, there are government employees whose responsibilities require them to share sensitive information. From high-level government executives who have to send sensitive files from wherever they go, to military personnel who rely on situational awareness applications such as mapping, video and voice to support their missions. All of them need mobile devices to perform specialized data and voice communications in a secure way.
Government agencies that recommend and certify public sector communications have recognized the power of today’s commercial cellular technology, and they are challenging industry to enhance existing solutions for use in sensitive and classified environments. The agencies also are leveraging commercial devices to help them keep pace with rapidly changing technology standards.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has established the Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC), a new program to enable commercial products with added security layers to protect classified data. Motorola Solutions based the development of its Assured Mobility Environment (AME) security solution on the requirements in the CSfC, as well as those outlined in the National Information Assurance Partnership Protection Profiles and the NSA’s Capability Packages.
Securing commercial mobile devices is challenging because they can easily be compromised, stolen or misplaced. In addition, both voice and data communications are subject to eavesdropping while in transit. And users have no control how their devices are set up and configured.
Secure smartphones need to provide certain features to address these vulnerabilities, including:
Motorola Solutions recently introduced a secure smartphone that uses the AME platform, the AME 2000. It packages AME in a handset with an Android™-based operating system for a familiar and user-friendly experience. In addition to supporting customer-installed applications, the AME 2000 includes a browser and email, text, and address book applications for smartphone functionality.
At the heart of AME is the Motorola CRYPTR micro, a hardware security module that is inserted into the smartphone’s microSD slot. The CRYPTR micro provides tamper protection for keys, tokens and certificates, and performs high-assurance cryptographic operations to support voice and data communications in the smartphone. The CRYPTR micro is certified to FIPS 140-2 Level 3 and supports AES 256 and Suite B.
AME also features a Suite B IPSec Virtual Private Network (VPN) that provides secure data-in-transit, whether the device is connected to private or public networks, including GSM, 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi. In addition, integrated mobile device management allows over-the-air (OTA) installation and updating of applications as well as device integrity verification. For additional protection, encryption keys can be erased remotely on devices that are lost or compromised.
As the government increases the development of customized apps to remotely access sensitive data, secure mobile devices are becoming important new weapons in their arsenal. With devices like the AME 2000, federal users will have a smartphone for secure communications from anywhere their missions take them.
Gary Schluckbier is Senior Director of Secure Systems for Motorola Solutions.