Nicholaus R. Kipke, Minority Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates lead the discussion of public safety technology at MACo’s Summer Conference, in a panel entitled, Mutual Aid: County-State-Nation Partnerships in Public Safety Technology. Delegate Kipke serves on the House Heath and Government Operations Committee and the Government Operations Subcommittee. MACo’s initiative bill on public safety radio technology was heard by the Health and Government Operations Committee last year.
Maryland Broadband Coordinator Lori Romer Stone started the discussion with a presentation on FirstNet. The vision of FirstNet, Ms. Stone explained, is to provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. Ms. Stone described how the system is organized and funded at the federal level and how it will improve public safety response, with examples from recent disasters. She also welcomed county officials to contact her as part of her outreach into the community: providing the FirstNet website for more information, and her own contact information.
Ken Coppage, Director of the Statewide Public Safety Radio System, spoke on the Maryland First 700MHz Public Safety Radio System. Director Coppage’s mission is to improve and sustain Maryland First to increase the safety of our First Responders, and enhance public safety, and improve efficiency throughout Maryland. He gave an update on building the system and described the options for local involvement for those counties that choose to join Maryland First, including: building your own fleetmap; local network monitoring; shared recording system; and membership on the Radio Control Board.
Major Ken Hasenei, Commander of the Maryland Department of State Police Technology and Information Management Command, provided an overview of the Statewide CAD/RMS/Mobile Project that is being implemented by the Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority, Maryland Transit Administration and Department of Natural Resources. According to the Major, the statewide program brings a modern and highly capable system to local dispatchers, law enforcement officers, administrators and command staff so they can better share data, be more interoperable, and work more efficiently.