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NICE and PlantCML team up in Colorado

NICE has been selected by PlantCML, a leading provider of emergency response solutions, to provide Douglas County, CO, with an integrated solution for capturing and analyzing first responder interactions. The implementation is part of a comprehensive upgrade to improve county-wide emergency communications that will also include enhanced digital 911 solutions from PlantCML.

“NICE and PlantCML worked together in a very expeditious fashion to move a highly technical and robust solution into our dispatch center,” said Mike Coleman, bureau chief of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Services Bureau. “The public looks to us in time of need, and we turn to our solution providers in our time of need. We had a critical need, and NICE and PlantCML were essentially able to come to Douglas County’s rescue.”

Covering 844 square miles, Douglas County is one of the fastest growing areas in Colorado, with a population just shy of 300,000. Employing PlantCML’s call processing, incident and records management, and data management solutions, the three primary PSAPs for Douglas County collectively handle more than 600,000 citizen calls each year. The county needed a reliable, efficient solution to capture all of these interactions. “We employ a number of PlantCML solutions to streamline our call-taking operations, and NICE fits into that environment very well,” Coleman said. “I’m excited that NICE has chosen a highly capable partner like PlantCML to turn out the integrated solutions that public safety operations demand.”

The integration of the NICE interaction capture platform with PlantCML’s MagICT data management solution will enable Douglas County to retrieve interactions captured in NICE through VESTA, PlantCML’s CTI application interface. “Ultimately, this is going to allow us to get a more robust picture of events and access information faster,” Coleman said. “We’ll be able to go into our PlantCML system and select calls based on a specific time period or area of the county and get immediate feedback from the NICE solution, so we can listen to those calls,” he said.

The Douglas County dispatch center coordinated the emergency response for the catastrophic Hayman Fire back in 2002, and Coleman, who has logged close to 25 years of service in public safety, cites this type of event as just one example where faster access to captured interactions could prove invaluable. “If we have another large-scale incident, like the Hayman Fire, we’d be able to quickly pinpoint the calls related to that event, get a visual representation of them, and listen to them,” he said. “Faster access to information about events will go a long way toward helping us provide an intelligent response and improve incident management.”

The county’s integrated NICE solution will initially be networked between two of the Douglas County PSAPs (the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Castle Rock Police Department). A third PSAP—the Parker Police Department, which is currently undergoing remodeling—will be added later. Through this networked setup, the county will be able to achieve geographic redundancy by storing recordings locally at each of the three PSAPs and then automatically transferring captured interactions over the county’s wide area network to a centralized backup storage device at the Sheriff’s Office. “NICE is going to give us a level of operations continuity that we didn’t have before,” Coleman said.

Coleman also expects that the networked NICE solution will simplify incident review, especially in cases concerning all three PSAPs. “If we had a shooting incident involving multiple dispatch centers, each agency might have recordings that are pertinent to the others’ cases and to a thorough incident review,” he said. Today, coordinating cross-agency investigations can be cumbersome. Using the new solution, supervisors at the different Douglas County PSAPs will be able to remotely access each others’ information in real time, instead of copying recordings onto tapes or CDs and then shuttling those to different locations.

“Douglas County is laying the foundation for a very robust solution, not only in the 911 arena, but in other areas of our organization as well,” Coleman said. “We’re excited about what the future holds.”

Published in Public Safety IT, Mar/Apr 2007

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