Communicating In A Crisis
In order to better handle potential emergencies such as terror attacks, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has turned to a high-speed notification system from Dialogic Communications Corporation (DCC). The system enables the department to draw up a contact list of agencies and groups to notify in the event of an emergency at the click of a mouse.
Messages are sent to recipients via their preferred format, including email, cell phone, pagers, fax, and phones. By linking the notification system with GIS mapping technology, the software can also notify a target audience based on area, such as a street, block, or district. Furthermore, the software has a “status report” feature that tells the dispatcher who has replied to his or her call for help.
High speed notification systems are also useful for supplying information about individual responses that could be used to determine fit-for-duty status and ETAs for gathering and rotating staff members. In addition, the technology can be used to notify outlying police departments to potentially alleviate traffic jams, summon more personnel, or notify officials of a fleeing suspect.
Agencies should ensure that dispatchers or people overseeing the system have strong decision-making abilities, the capacity to quickly reorganize, knowledge of the intelligence field, and access to technical support.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Sheriff (04/04) Vol. 56, No. 2, P. 47; Bayless, Ken .