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First Responder Communications

NCJ Number
Homeland Defense Journal Volume: 6 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2008 Pages: 22,23,24,26
Don Philpott
Date Published
March 2008
4 pages
This article describes some glimpses of the future in first-responder communications and procedures.
One work in progress is the "FusionX" project, which is a "blueprint" for horizontal collaboration services that enable analysts to collect, process, and disseminate information related to criminal and terrorism intelligence and information. FusionX was mutually conceived by the Illinois State Police and Microsoft in order to develop a fusion center architecture solution from the bottom up, based on an analysis of State and local missions and operations. Ultimately, FusionX will lead to an "all threats, all crimes, all hazards" architecture that enables standards-based connections and collaboration among Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, and private organizations. In facilitating further progress, Microsoft intends to build an ecosystem of commercial partners that will assist government in drawing on commercial solutions to remaining problems. This article also describes an effort in response and communications undertaken by the Atlanta Urban Areas Security Initiative region, which now has 31 sites using the Public Information Emergency Response (PIER). The Fairfax County Police Department (Virginia) is pioneering an advanced identification process using a handheld biometric terminal as a fingerprint scanner and card reader that can also take photos on the scene. In another initiative, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties (Florida) plan to deploy a team to enhance emergency preparedness throughout the Tampa Urban Area Security Initiative. Other projects described are an emergency alert system that warns court personnel in response to emergencies in two Louisiana State courts and a new, joint-use Emergency Operations Center in San Antonio, TX.