Created in the mid-1980s as an informal association of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) users, the International CAD Consortium (ICC) discusses issues related to CAD requirements, design, use, and performance. Over the years, the range of topics has evolved and expanded to include all things related to public safety communications and information technology. Topics like records management, 9-1-1, voice and data radio, geospatial, FirstNet, other public safety IT systems, and technologies such as body worn cameras, security, and data analysis systems have been brought into the round-table community. Discussions are open ended and loosely follow an agenda.
I attended the International CAD Consortium for the IJIS Institute along with 83 other attendees and 24 vendors. There were a total of 19 topic areas addressed during the conference; while most were technology related, subjects of general interest to communications and technologies supporting public safety operations were also discussed, including non-technical topics like human resources, fiscal issues, and facility management.
I introduced the group to the IJIS Institute, the Springboard CAD-to-CAD initiative, the Incident Management Information Sharing projects, the Law Enforcement Imaging Technology Task Force, and the IJIS Public Safety Technical Standards Committee. It was a great experience to interact with the participants.
Here are a few interesting takeaways from the conference:
- This community remains very concerned about next generation 911 issues and the pressure from the public to accept texts and video. The feeling of the group was that there are a lack of standards in this area and too many one-off approaches.
- As the use of video grows, the need for storage is becoming a priority, and there is a lot of discussion about the merits of in-house data servers versus cloud-based services.
- There are challenges facing this community as they recognize the need to, and the benefits of, sharing information, but struggle with what information must be confidential.
- Facilities are changing with the times. There was talk about the use of articulating consoles that allow telecommunicators to stand while working and the potential need for bunking and locker facilities in public safety answering points (PSAPs) due to prolonged working periods in disasters and major emergencies.
There are lots of ways that the work of the IJIS Institute aligns with this community and I was thankful for the opportunity to attend the International CAD Consortium event. Next year’s conference will be in the suburbs of Chicago in the same late Spring timeframe.