A partnership of public safety and transportation agencies in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia announced plans to build a public safety data communications network for the Washington, D.C. region. The first interoperable wireless system to span multi-state government jurisdictions, the network will enable officials from more than 40 local, state, and federal agencies to communicate with each other in real time.
The Capital Wireless Integrated Network (CapWIN) will also provide firefighters, police, transportation officials, and other authorized emergency personnel with wireless access to multiple government data sources during critical incidents. Improved access to information will help these first responders and public safety officials make vital public safety-related decisions.
CapWIN will help eliminate the confusion that can plague responders currently hobbled by incompatible communication gear and insufficient information, and will improve the management and coordination of multiple agencies responding to an emergency or other event.
“For the first time, the greater Washington, D.C. region will have a secure and powerful system that lets police, firefighters, transportation officials, and other responders communicate with each other rapidly during crises,” says Charles Samarra, Chief of the Alexandria, VA, Police Department and Chair of the CapWIN Executive Committee.
“The strength of CapWIN is the partnerships that have developed and the sense that we have to work together for the greater good of our communities,” adds Chief Samarra. “Public safety agencies have to change the way we do business. Partnerships have to be formed and people have to share resources and work together to meet the challenges of the future.”
Senator George Allen (R-VA) spearheaded congressional funding for CapWIN.
CapWIN, designed by IBM, will allow officials to communicate with each other on the network via an Instant Messaging application using PCs, PDAs, and data-enabled mobile phones.
Authorized users will be able to set up response teams —restricted-access, high-performance chat rooms—designed to help handle unexpected events, such as natural disasters, traffic collisions, fires, or terrorist threats. A police officer responding to an automobile accident, for example, may communicate simultaneously with key personnel including ambulance drivers, firefighters, and transportation response units, as well as the hazardous materials team and other special units, if needed.
CD Takes the Mystery out of Surety Bonds
The Surety Information Office (SIO) offers an interactive CD for public agencies, government officials, and legislators—Surety Bonds for Public Owners. The CD contains narrated, PowerPoint presentations explaining the value and benefits of contract surety bonds. For free copies of the CD or any of SIO’s resources, visit: www.sio.org, or call 202-686-7463.
Plan to attend the 2nd Annual e-Procurement Symposium presented by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) on November 20 to 22, 2002 in Las Vegas, NV. NIGP will offer practical applications from practitioners with experience. For more information on “Empowering the eProcurement Community,” visit: www.nigp.org.
Performance-Based Contracting Summit
Plan to attend the 2002 Performance-Based Contracting Summit, November 18 to 19, 2002, at the Performance Institute, Arlington, VA. Presented by The Performance Institute, in association with Reason Public Policy Institute and the National Contract Management Association, the summit will cover the latest strategies and initiatives in performance-based contracting.
Contact Marco Amaro for registration and summit information by phone: 703-894-0481, ext. 209, or e-mail: [email protected].