Smart Public Safety Solutions
Helping customers develop Smart Public Safety Solutions (SPSS) that fit their individual needs and a procurement strategy to deploy the technology.
Retired Lt. Colonel
Deputy Director, Michigan State Police
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Wayne State University
Masters of Public Administration, Western Michigan University
It was the first public safety communications system of its kind in North America. It is comprised of over 244 towers and 62,000 radios spanning an area of over 59,415 square miles, the Michigan Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS) is a staple of reliable communication for the majority of Michigan's first responders and public safety agencies. Lt. Col. Tom Miller (ret.) of the Michigan State Police and former State Project Manager for the MPSCS was directly responsible for its implementation. Few experts can claim this kind of ground-level agency experience, making Tom an invaluable source of information when it comes to the ins-and-outs of implementing mission-critical systems.
Tom's industry expertise does not end there. As Senior Deputy Director of the Michigan State Police, he administered Michigan's Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Policy Council and was responsible for developing and implementing Michigan's Criminal Justice Information Network Portal, and I-Services Gateway, the state's first comprehensive statewide law enforcement data sharing program. In his role Tom was responsible for all state police uniformed, investigative, and intelligence operations—in total, a group of 2000 sworn and civilian personnel.
As part of the Smart Public Safety Solutions team, Tom functions as a thought leader in the Smart Public Safety space. He is focused on staying abreast of industry trends and he brings that insight to his customers as they work together to build smart public safety solutions that fit the customers' needs. Tom helps customers navigate common public safety operational challenges due to his extensive expertise with mission-critical systems and solutions. Tom's background in managed services is valuable to agencies that lack the in-house expertise or resources to manage, implement, and run more complex technology solutions. In addition, prior to procuring technology and navigating the budget development process, agencies can leverage Tom's insight into industry best practices and service for smarter resource management.
By clearly defining and addressing each agency's unique needs, processes and workflows, Tom can help agencies successfully navigate the budget development process and procure the mission-critical technologies their communities really need.
What are some key factors that establish a business case for upgrading my current analog system to a P25 Digital Network?
Today, many agencies are making the investment in upgrading their analog radio (LMR) networks to P25 Digital. The common advantages P25 networks bring to public safety operations, such as enhanced interoperability, clarity in transmissions, and improved network resiliency, will help support their business case and provide a foundation for project funding. Additionally, the advanced features available on today’s P25 systems and subscribers are game changing for first responders. The ability to use GPS to track personnel or Advanced Messaging to send text messages to tactical group operations are two examples of how upgrading to a P25 network can make our first responders safer and more effective in delivering public safety services. These factors make a strong business case for communities to invest in the technology that will meet the long-term needs of public safety.
What are the best practices and solutions available for improving data sharing for public safety agencies today?
Technology has had a significant impact on law enforcement’s ability to prevent and solve crime. Today, law enforcement leaders are looking to use technology as a workforce multiplier by improving their information and data sharing capability to drive efficiency. As agencies begin to evaluate options, I stress the importance of leveraging their existing technology investments as a foundation for innovation. For example, the ability for our customers to use their P25 network along with their existing CAD and Records applications to build the foundation for an intelligence-led policing initiative is without a doubt a best practice. These systems can be leveraged utilizing Motorola’s Real Time Intelligence Console (RIC), which provides the ability to integrate multiple data sources from across the government enterprise into one user interface. This enables personnel at the command center to quickly analyze a situation and disseminate relevant intelligence to first responders. This solution is designed to provide the right information at the right time to the right person; making data more actionable and resulting in better situational awareness for the first responder.
What should agencies be doing today to prepare for FirstNet and Public Safety LTE?
The FirstNet initiative has become a daunting project; the complexity of funding, designing, deploying, and loading a national public safety broadband network is turning out to be even more difficult than most public safety officials thought. The complexity of the project has led many to question the timing and requirements that will be placed on users of the FirstNet network. As planning for the network continues, I advise local public safety agencies to focus on what they can control.
Once designed and implemented, FirstNet will need to integrate with next generation 9-1-1 technologies, and provide real-time access to disparate database systems that public safety users require. In addition, they will need to accommodate varied mobile devices on a secure platform, ensuring the integrity of the data regardless of the user environment. Agencies today should be focused on their current environment with an eye toward developing an application and device strategy that is network agnostic. By leveraging what they have in place today with available applications, devices, and other technology services, public safety administrators can realize the immediate operational benefits that today’s technology provides. The experience gained from this effort will also help agencies formulate their long-term strategy to support migration to the FirstNet system.