Next Generation 9-1-1 and Visualization of Incident Reporting
Public Safety/emergency 9-1-1 centers are bracing themselves for the next wave of technical innovation, “Next Generation 9-1-1”. Promising universal support for today’s wireless mobile society and transition to Voice over IP, realization of NG9-1-1 requires many things to happen with our emergency centers in order to become a reality. This includes replacing outdated infrastructure, creating an open-architecture environment, and the ability to handle both voice and data communications in the same system. The latter point is incredibly key as we have now come to a point in our society where almost every citizen is armed with some sort of multimedia capture device – such as a cell phone, smart phone, video recorder, camera, etc. These handheld gadgets very much open the door to impromptu public vigilance in our society, while also greatly expanding the pool of available evidence associated with many of today’s emergency incidents.
It is therefore critical for these emergency centers to very carefully consider the importance of a communications recording and incident reconstruction solution that can handle all of these different types of media. It must be able to first capture and store the data, and then pull all of it together into an integrated fashion to rapidly and accurately recreate an incident, in support of both incident resolution and litigation. These new incident recreation software solutions are now coming on the market and many early adopters have already begun implementing them.
NG9-1-1-enabled organizations with this type of technology can accept and leverage disparate pieces of information and communications, all related to one incident. This includes all radio traffic between the dispatcher and police, any available ATM or security video footage, landline/cell phone/VoIP calls, JPEG mug shot of the suspect, text messages and more. Once gathered, the system automatically assembles, time stamps and puts all of this data into an integrated incident reconstruction timeline, which helps to recreate, simulate and ultimately solve the crime.
The digital aggregation, integration and simultaneous replay of all of this critical information (including the map location of each caller or data source), allows control rooms to gain a more accurate, holistic picture of the incident. In doing so, these software solutions also speed up the incident resolution process as a whole, as they eliminate many of the tedious man hours previously devoted to this type of evidentiary collection. In terms of public safety and legal justice, this is an incredibly powerful value proposition that cannot be overlooked.
Imagine for a moment the frightening scenario of a little boy in a park who is lured away by a stranger under the guise of helping the man look for his lost puppy. In today’s 9-1-1 world, the frantic parent’s cell phone call and vague description are probably the only piece of evidence or communication the authorities would have to work with. This is extremely limiting and leaves authorities at a real disadvantage in terms of apprehending the perpetrator and recovering the boy. However, in the NG9-1-1 world, the scenario can take a dramatic turn, for the better. Other recorded/captured data can also be shared with the police, including any pictures or video taken of the abduction (perhaps by passersby or security cameras), as well as other verbal or text descriptions from different witnesses in the area – all time stamped and mapped out with geo tagging. All of this information and media is then pulled together and integrated into a single incident reconstruction timeline, which can be used to better locate the boy and capture the kidnapper. For instance, the mapped location of additional witnesses helps to chart the kidnapper’s path. Plus, additional text and verbal descriptions (and even photos/video of the criminal himself) can also work to greatly improve the odds of safely returning the boy to his devastated family. Furthermore, this same information can be used as evidence when prosecuting the offender.
Another important aspect of the NG9-1-1 promise is an emergency center’s ability to share communications resources with other “public safety” organizations in the same area – for example a police department, a responding EMT and the FBI. This helps the organizations minimize costs, streamline operations and better share critical information. It is therefore imperative to consider these multi-center capabilities when deciding on a communications recording and incident reconstruction system. Many solutions today do not support this type of advanced functionality.
While NG9-1-1 adoption has been slow, there are several early adopters such as Washington DC Unified Communications Center, which have already begun the total NG9-1-1 transformation, including adoption of this next-generation call recording and incident reconstruction technology. Their early success and foray into this new world of emergency communications and service is a very positive sign that other emergency centers are soon to follow.
Tony Procops, founder, President and CEO of CyberTech North America, has over 25 years experience leading recording technology companies. With domestic and international experience, Tony offers a unique global perspective to CyberTech's future growth strategy. Prior to CyberTech North America, Tony was Senior Vice President and General Manager of ASC telecom, where he established its North American subsidiary in 1998 and oversaw all its operations.
For more information see: www.CyberTech-na.com