Plans are in full swing to present the best workshop yet! We have secured a great list of speakers for the Ninth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop, widely known as CITIG Nine from November 29 to December 2, 2014 in Toronto, and our full agenda is in circulation. The event will sell out so the time is now to finalize your plans. Of note:
The discounted room rate at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel is being held until November 2, 2015 (prices are not guaranteed after this date)
Air Canada is offering a 10% discount on Flex fares or higher for delegates travelling to this event. To take advantage of this discount please book your flight at aircanada.com and enter the Promotion Code TTPBKTU1 in the search panel.
The nomination deadline for the 2015 CITIG National Awards for Public Safety Interoperability to be presented at the Ninth Annual Workshop is November 14, 2015. Visit http://www.citig.ca/award.aspx for complete details, including the easy- and quick-to-complete on-line form to nominate a “difference-maker” today.
Our popular SNAPSHOT Session is back. Are you keen to participate? It’s easy. Simply visit citig.ca/snapshot.aspx to download the SNAPSHOT template and submit your name on line to be considered.
Limited exhibit spaces and sponsorship opportunities are still available. This event will sell out, so don’t miss out. Visit our event page at www.citig.ca. Continue reading →
This week I attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference in Chicago. It was well attended, there were great sessions, and good exhibits on the show floor. On Sunday morning I attended the Communications and Technology (C&T) annual meeting as a guest. I wanted to be there because it was Chief Harlin McEwen’s (Ret) last meeting serving as chairman of the committee as he has done for the past 35 years. While the Chief is shedding some of his activities, he will stay on as Chairman of the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) for FirstNet and, I am sure, continue to keep his hand on the pulse of Public Safety Communications.
Chief McEwen always runs a tight meeting for 4 hours but it is sometimes difficult to keep it on track timewise. This particular meeting was especially difficult because every hour, it seemed, another dignitary would show up to honor the Chief and present him with an award. Even so, we got through the many sub-committee reports, they voted on a few items, and adjourned on time at noon. An hour later we all met to continue honoring the Chief at a special luncheon. Many of his longtime friends and associates spoke about him and his willingness to listen to any and all who might have an idea or a comment. He has mentored countless of us over the years, and is considered the Father of FirstNet because he is. Harlin will be missed by the IACP of that I am sure, but for a while at least, he will continue to guide Public Safety in a direction where it will be improved and will continue to serve those who serve the public.
The exhibits were open Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, but I left town on Tuesday morning because President Obama was scheduled to address the Chiefs later in the day. While I would have enjoyed listening to what he had to say in person, I was not about to get caught up in the traffic and crowd control that always accompanies such an event. There were large crowds in the exhibit area most of the time I was there, and many more companies than I expected were showing all types of body cameras. Many had small light devices, and many did not have data storage solutions (the most expensive part of the entire eco-system).
In the C&T conference, Ed Reyes, who will be filling Chief McEwen’s position as chairman, gave an overview of what his department is doing to put the cameras on his uniformed personnel. He talked much more about the requirement for having policies in place for the collection and storage of the video and how quickly it should or should not be redacted and released after an incident, especially since there will already be a number of citizen-made videos already posted. All of this data will consume massive amounts of storage, terabytes and terabytes of storage, and all at a cost. Some of the camera companies have end-to-end camera to data storage systems in place while others are simply selling the cameras and leaving the storage issues up to the individual departments. It is clear that there needs to be standards, and I was shocked to find some of the companies plan to simply stream the video over the Internet to its intended location. That is a non-starter for two reasons–one is chain of custody and the other is that the Internet is not a secure environment under the control of the Public Safety community. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. Continue reading →
PCIA President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adelstein noted today that his group has seen successes in the past year in helping make it easier to deploy small cells, including adoption of the FCC’s wireless infrastructure order, and he observed that additional efforts are underway to further streamline small cell deployment in historic areas.
“Today, our members have a clearer runway and new ability to install on thousands of qualifying facilities including utility poles and other non-tower structures without having to worry about those heavy compliance regulations,” Mr. Adelstein said in the text of a speech he delivered this morning at PCIA’s HetNet Expo in Los Angeles.
“This may come as a shock to some of you, but Congress is actually looking for ways they can help us. Growing out of the hearings, committee leaders in both the House and Senate are developing legislation to streamline wireless infrastructure deployment,” Mr. Adelstein said. “We’re looking for your input as to how they can help us. Continue reading →
A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both houses of Congress is again urging the Department of Justice to produce memoranda on the use of geolocation and other surveillance technology.
“Over the past two years, members of the House and Senate have repeatedly requested information related to the Department of Justice’s updated guidance for using geolocation and other surveillance technology. These requests noted congressional interest in reviewing how the Department has adjusted its policies to comply with recent Supreme Court decisions regarding the Fourth Amendment implications of using global positioning systems and searches of electronically stored information,” said yesterday’s letter to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “Specifically, these requests asked for memoranda that were circulated to prosecutors and investigators in response to the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Jones.” Continue reading →
President Obama today lauded the nationwide public safety broadband network being overseen by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). In a Chicago speech to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Mr. Obama stressed the need to ensure that police have “the resources you need to get the job done. As an example, he said that “we’re setting aside radio spectrum for first responders so that, for the first time in history, America’s police departments will share a single network.”
LightSquared told the FCC in a filing that it would consider concerns expressed recently by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions regarding the impact of an LTE network on adjacent-band GPS operations used by telecom carriers (TRDaily, Oct. 15). “First, we agree completely with ATIS that the effect of LTE in adjacent bands on network timing devices is an important one that the industry and the company should address,” LightSquared said in a filing yesterday in IB dockets 12-340 and 11-109.
“Second, the company and the industry have already spent considerable time not only studying the issue but developing solutions that in fact resolve any concerns. … Third, we look forward to further dialogue with ATIS on this matter, and we will undertake additional testing if that is necessary, including as part of the Roberson and Associates testing.”
On October 28, 2015, the FCC waived Section 90.629 of the rules and extended the construction deadline of a 700 MHz system being deployed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) until March 31, 2017. The SFMTA 700 MHz system is part of the agency’s Radio System Replacement Program (RSRP) which also includes an 800 MHz data network, a 5.9 GHz Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) network, and Point-to-Point Microwave Service network. The RSRP would replace SFMTA’s existing “T-Band” (470-512 MHz) system.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) asked Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta in a letter dated today to keep in mind the needs of fire fighters and other providers of disaster relief as the FAA proceeds with its efforts announced last week (TRDaily, Oct. 19) to create a task force to develop recommendations for a registration process for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Sen. Shaheen noted her introduction on Oct. 7 of the Wildfire and Emergency Airspace Protection Act, which would make it a federal criminal offense to knowingly launch a drone for recreational purposes that interferes with fire or disaster response efforts.
“I applaud the FAA’s actions and encourage you to closely consider the impact of drones on disaster relief efforts and to seriously weigh the opinions of emergency responders throughout your process,” she said in the letter to Mr. Huerta.
A cornerstone of successful interoperable emergency communication is having and maintaining effective governance bodies. The structure of these bodies varies greatly nationwide, as does available communication technology, funding models, network upgrade plans and training standards.
SAFECOM – a group within the Department of Homeland Security with a mission of improving emergency response provider communications and interoperability – and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) recognize the importance of establishing emergency communication governance recommendations and have recently released the Governance Guide for State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Emergency Communication Officials (Governance Guide) as a comprehensive tool for public safety professionals.
The Governance Guide addresses the first goal of the National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP), released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC), focusing on “enhanced decision-making, coordination, and planning for emergency communications through strong governance structures and leadership.” Continue reading →
Hands-free devices that allow people to send texts using voice commands can still pose cognitive distractions for drivers because mental distractions can persist for up 27 seconds after the action, according to research results released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The lasting effects of mental distraction pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers,” said Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive officer of the group. “The results indicate that motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving.”