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Public Safety Initiatives
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dispatcher at consoleWhen we think of public safety, we think of law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services (EMS) agencies, and emergency and disaster management organizations. What we don’t often think about is how they work together and how they share information to prevent and protect us from events that could endanger our safety.

Most often, the systems in use today for sharing information are either paper-based or use verbal communications; both are slow and inefficient, and cost emergency providers precious minutes when they are racing against time to protect lives and property. The IJIS Institute and our Members are changing that paradigm by sponsoring and participating in committees and projects to implement and enhance information interoperability within the public safety community and government agencies.

The IJIS Institute also has the following programs, projects, and activities that support justice information sharing initiatives:

Incident Management Information Sharing

Through funding from the Department of Homeland Security, the IJIS Institute is helping to support the Incident Management Information Sharing Subcommittee (IMIS-SC), a White House-supported initiative that will provide advice and policy recommendations—from local, state, tribal, and federal perspectives—on ways to standardize nationwide incident management information sharing capabilities across the first responder, emergency management, and homeland security communities.

The goals of the effort are to:

  • Increase and strengthen partnerships across all sectors and domains involved in public safety,
  • Identify needs and approaches for establishing information sharing and safeguarding processes, technical standards, and operational frameworks, and
  • Explore how to increase opportunities for federal support to empower all levels of government to continuously improve information sharing capabilities.

Unified Computer Aided Dispatch (UCAD) Project

A number of technical systems are used to support law enforcement, fire, and EMS telecommunicators and responders. Yet governmental agencies that fund and guide technology standards and other key IT initiatives have rarely coordinated or aligned their efforts to maximize national adoption and cost effectiveness. Disparate technology standards and specifications across communities that have similar and, in many cases, overlapping requirements, result in unnecessary duplication of efforts, at a high cost to taxpayers.

The IJIS Institute, along with APCO International, developed Unified Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Functional Requirements (UCADFR). The multi-service CAD functional specification serves as a guideline to industry for the development and implementation of integrated CAD systems that are responsive to the needs of law enforcement, fire, and EMS.

The UCAD project was a follow-on to a previous project, the Public Safety Data Interoperability Program (PSDIP), managed jointly with APCO International. This project aimed at producing deliverables that focused on assisting first responders and local public safety communication centers with the goal of improving information sharing and data interoperability among and between public safety first responders. Project outcomes included the upgrade of the External Alarm Interface IEPD (from GJXDM to NIEM), the development of a Priority Exchange List for Local Communication Centers, a Guide to Information Sharing and Data Interoperability for Local Communication Centers, and laid the groundwork for the UCADFR.

Advisory Activities

The IJIS Public Safety Technical Standards Committee (IPSTSC), comprised of IJIS Institute Member companies, partner organizations, and public safety practitioners, promotes and contributes to the development of technical and functional standards for public safety IT components, to provide industry input and policy review on technical matters faced by the public safety community.

Prior Work

The IJIS Institute has a long history of working toward public safety information interoperability, including these past accomplishments:

  • Convened an Emergency Communications Task Force that developed a set of recommendations regarding the scope and prioritization of issues relevant to information sharing and standards-based interoperability for next generation and emerging emergency communications and data management technology solutions. 
  • Developed the Law Enforcement CAD and Records Management Systems (RMS) Functional Specifications, the precursor to the UCADFR.
  • Successfully managed the Intelligent Transportation Systems/Public Safety Information Sharing Project, the goal of which was to create a methodology to facilitate and enable information sharing and data interoperability between transportation and public safety. The project involved the creation of reference data exchanges and translating messages that come from two different types of standards.
  • Supported and/or developed numerous reference data exchanges (IEPDs) to support information sharing between computer aided dispatch (CAD) systems, law enforcement and jail records management systems (RMS), transportation systems, and dispatch systems.Click here for the the Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD) for 12 defined Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)/Public Safety Exchanges (ZIP file).


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