Guest Editorial by Jeff Halstead, Founder & President of Evertel
Interoperability is an absolute must today for first responders and their agencies as violent crime rates and wide-scale crises occur at higher rates across the nation.
While advancements in communications technologies have made it possible for first responders to communicate effectively amongst each other and other agencies, there’s a significant communication limitation across law enforcement as a whole. In many cases, officers are even using non-compliant consumer messaging apps and platforms that present considerable risk.
Interagency collaboration is incredibly effective no matter the situation and can be utilized across multiple levels throughout the public sector.
Roughly 9 in 10 first responders surveyed in a recent Verizon study reported the ability to communicate across agencies was “a critical concern” in their current line of work, and 93% stated that communicating across agencies is critical in managing crises.
Below, we look at how law enforcement agencies can improve their interagency collaboration.
Interagency Cooperation vs. Collaboration in Law Enforcement
There are still misconceptions about how interagency cooperation and interagency collaboration work. Collaboration in law enforcement is often organized and proactive, while interagency cooperation takes a reactive approach.
Unfortunately, the concept of interagency cooperation only takes things so far. The process can help first responders work faster and more efficiently when handled correctly but can often feel forced or formal at the same time.
Still, true interagency collaboration in law enforcement is about building productive relationships, communications channels, systems, and protocols to get the work done right.
Achieving true interagency collaboration can make a significant difference in crisis and disaster response.
Communicating within an agency is difficult and communicating with neighboring agencies can be even more challenging – especially during a community crisis.
First responders utilize smartphones significantly more than land-mobile-radios (LMR) while on duty today, highlighting the importance of having compatible tools for effective communication between responders, their agencies, and surrounding agencies during crises.
While a wide variety of messaging options can provide intelligence sharing across agencies, they should be secure and compliant with federal regulations.
Because more responders use smartphones on duty, many use the same public messaging apps they communicate with friends and family on.
These platforms are illegal to use in government communications and can be much more vulnerable to losses of valuable information.
An ideal resolution is a capable and real-time communications solution that enables interagency collaboration instantly, ensuring crucial information is shared quickly and seamlessly.
This should connect multiple law enforcement agencies with other essential agencies in a geographical region during times of need, such as emergency medical services or fire departments, or even local elected officials.
(Learn More. See how the Richmond Police Department has utilized Mark43 CAD for 2 years, during which they’ve been better able to serve the citizens of Richmond, CA. Hear from Michael Schlemmer, Communication’s Center Manager, on what the partnership has meant for her team. Courtesy of Mark43 and YouTube.)
Gaining Public Trust
Police transparency — whether internal or public-facing — begins with communication clarity.
Rapid intelligence sharing between organizations leads to faster crime solving and crime reduction, ultimately allowing for public approval to naturally follow. Communities are stronger when their public safety organizations work together.
Departments become more efficient with instant communication channels to enable interagency collaboration.
Streamlined operations allow for rapid intelligence sharing, which protects more citizens and even saves them money, building that all-important public trust with law enforcement.
Emergencies and other catastrophic events highlight the need for split-second decision-making. In many previous instances, communications among those responding to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or mass shootings have lacked interoperability.
An example of this communication failure is the recent Astroworld disaster.
Firefighters stationed outside NRG Park in Houston were not in radio communication with the EMS providers hired by Astroworld organizers when the festival turned deadly.
Firefighters were in direct communication with the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Emergency Corps, providing some of the transport units for that event.
Still, the department was not in direct communication with the event organizers during the concert.
(ABC News pieced together social video and documents to track what happened at Travis Scott’s music festival in Houston that left 10 people dead. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Nov 18, 2021.)
The arrangement made for inefficient communication when concertgoers were in distress and needed emergency help.
Seconds are precious when it comes to saving lives, and unfortunately, the lack of interoperably capable and compliant communications platforms hindered emergency response.
While there is no doubt that interagency collaboration is essential in first responder communication efforts, it’s no easy task.
Departments must stay up to date on the latest compliant solutions that meet the needs of each agency and work together to find an ideal balance so each party can effectively operate in times of crisis.
About the author
Jeff Halstead dedicated nearly 30 years of service to law enforcement and corresponding local communities.
For more than two decades, Halstead worked for the Phoenix Police Department, departing as Commander to join the Fort Worth Police Department. As Chief of Police in Fort Worth, he navigated many national and global crisis incidents before retiring in 2015.
He went on to found and create Evertel, a secure and compliant mobile communication platform for first responders and government entities, to solve the communication disparities he witnessed firsthand as a first responder and law enforcement agency leader.
For additional information, please visit getevertel.com, or follow the company at twitter.com/evertelhq, or facebook.com/evertelhq/.
Mark43 Takes Home the Gold in 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Homeland Security Program
American Security Today’s Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program, and now entering it’s Seventh Year, continues to recognize industry leaders of Physical and Border Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness – Management and Response, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as federal, state and municipal government agencies in the acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure.
Best Public Safety Workforce Management
Mark43, a cloud-native public safety software company, offers a single-platform Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Records Management System (RMS) for seamless data entry and faster reporting that are a natural extension of the dispatcher, call taker, and in-field first responder during an emergency response.
Additionally, the Mark43 Product Suite includes Mark43 Analytics, which centralizes CAD and RMS data in real-time enables agencies to make informed, data-driven decisions.
Mark43 partners with over 120 public safety agencies of all sizes in the U.S. and abroad and uses its platform to support the demands of any mission.
By providing fast, powerful technology Mark43 enables first responders to focus on their most important work–keeping communities safe.
(See how Mark43 empowers communities and their governments with new technologies that improve the safety and quality of life for all. Mark43’s cloud-native public safety platform includes no-downtime updates, industry-leading functionality, and an uncompromising commitment to security and compliance. Courtesy of Mark43 and YouTube.)
*Mark43 was also recognized in the 2020, and 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Programs.
The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards highlight the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.
The United States was forever changed 20 years ago on September 11th, and we were fortunate to have many of those who responded to those horrific tragedies join us at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon.
In the days that followed 9/11, the critical needs of protecting our country catapulted us into new and innovative ways to secure our homeland – which is how many of the agencies and enterprise organizations that are today ‘ASTORS’ Awards Champions, came into being.
Our 2021 keynote speaker featured a moving and informative address from TSA Administrator and Vice-Admiral of the United States Coast Guard (Ret), David Pekoske; to our attendees who traveled from across the United States and abroad, on the strategic priorities of the 64,000 member TSA workforce in securing the transportation system, enabling safe, and in many cases, contactless travel.
Legendary Police Commissioner William Bratton of the New York Police Department, the Boston Police Department, and former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department was also live at the event, meeting with attendees and signing copies of his latest work ‘The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America,’ courtesy of the generosity of our 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Premier Sponsors.
The 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program was Proudly Sponsored by AMAROK, Fortior Solutions and SIMS Software, along with Returning Premier Sponsors ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Automatic Systems, and Reed Exhibitions.
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at https://americansecuritytoday.com/ast-awards/.
|Access Control/ Identification||Personal/Protective Equipment||Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism|
|Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System||Interagency Interdiction Operation||Cloud Computing/Storage Solution|
|Facial/IRIS Recognition||Body Worn Video Product||Cyber Security|
|Video Surveillance/VMS||Mobile Technology||Anti-Malware|
|Audio Analytics||Disaster Preparedness||ID Management|
|Thermal/Infrared Camera||Mass Notification System||Fire & Safety|
|Metal/Weapon Detection||Rescue Operations||Critical Infrastructure|
|License Plate Recognition||Detection Products||COVID Innovations|
|Workforce Management||Government Security Programs||And Many Others to Choose From!|
Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?
Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2021 over 200 distinguished guests representing Federal, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms gathered from across North America, Europe and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields which included:
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- ICE Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI)
- Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
- The Federal Protective Service (FPS)
- Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
- DHS Science & Technology (S&T)
- The National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health (NCDMPH)
- The American Red Cross
- The InfraGard National Alliance
- The Metropolitan Police (MPD)
- The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)
- Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS)
- The Federal Air Marshals Service
- The San Diego Harbor Police Foundation, and Many More!
Corporate firms, the majority of which return year to year to build upon their record of accomplishment include:
AlertMedia, Allied Universal, AMAROK, ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Axis Communications, Automatic Systems of America, BriefCam, Canon U.S.A., Fortior Solutions, guardDog.ai, Hanwha Techwin of America, HID Global, Mark43, IPVideo Corporation, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Lumina Analytics, NEC National Security Systems, NICE Public Safety, OnSolve, PureTech Systems, Quantum Corporation, Rave Mobile Safety, Regroup Mass Notification, Robotic Assistance Devices, Rajant Corporation, SafeLogic, Senstar Corporation, ShotSpotter, Singlewire Software, SolarWinds Worldwide, Teledyne FLIR, Valor Systems, and Wiresecure, just to name a few!
Why American Security Today?
The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast-changing security landscape.
American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State, and local levels of government as well as firms allied to the government.
American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers’ eyes throughout the story with cutting-edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.
Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications
AST Digital Publications are distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals, in federal, state, local, and private security sectors.
‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’
AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.
Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture, and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.
These experts are from Government at the federal, state, and local level as well as from private firms allied to the government.
AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website, and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.
AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.
Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.
(See just a few highlights of American Security Today’s 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East. Courtesy of My Pristine Images and Vimeo.)
To learn more about ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, please see the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2021 ‘A Year in Review’.
The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of Annual ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firm’s products and services, including video interviews and more.
It serves as your Go-To Source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2021 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and/or organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.
From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection, and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.
For a complete list of 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, begin HERE.
For more information on All Things American Security Today, as well as the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at email@example.com.
AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:
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