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INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY ASSOCIATION
Together we are stronger


IPSA's Public Safety Column

The IPSA's Public Safety Column is an opportunity for our members and corporate sponsors to provide thought leadership articles about all topics facing public safety. 

The articles we publish are not necessarily the views of the IPSA, rather they are opinions shared by each contributor.




  • 06 Mar 2017 6:07 PM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)

    We all know how unpredictable and fast-moving law enforcement can be. We can all recall the days when officers carried handhelds the size of a brick, cell phones were an expensive status symbol, no interconnectivity to personnel was available, and long trips back to the station to input the day’s data entry was a tedious and dreaded task. 

    Who could have predicted the law enforcement workflow of the future — reliable and continual communication, instant access to critical records, GPS guidance, e-citations, fingerprint authentication readers, smartcard and magnetic card readers, body-worn cameras, in-vehicle printing, on-scene incident reporting, barcode and RFID readers, automatic license plate readers and law enforcement oriented apps and software — these advancements have made it possible for officers to have a real-time crime center. 

    Whether you decide to implement a tablet or laptop solution into your department is completely dependent on the necessary requirements to create a real-time situational awareness crime center for every officer.

    Within the past five years’ tablets have become an evolving form factor, some pledging the case for tablets becoming the mobile computing tool of the future for law enforcement, gaining momentum into the market so strongly laptops are being thrown into the abyss of the past. 

    However, opinions differ on whether a tablet can outperform the old tried and trusted mobile workstations via a laptop or notebook, as both have their individual advantages. Keep reading on to discover the advantages of both mobile solutions — tablets and laptops for law enforcement.  

    Benefits of rugged tablets

    Why should you choose a rugged tablet solution for your department? The choice between equipping your workforce with laptops or tablets is dependent upon whether officers are in a patrol car, at a desk, on foot or in the office. Do officers want to take the device outside of the vehicle? Tablets are a highly effective tool for police motorcycles which can be mounted on handle bars or in the saddle bag, as well as patrol cars, SWAT teams and investigators. Detectives can use rugged tablets to take on-scene film footage and images without requiring expensive digital cameras to capture evidence.

    Tablets are light weight and small enough for handheld use and take up minimal space inside police vehicles. Specialized uses for tablets include signature captures, barcode scanning for ID verification and VIN number scanning, field interview creation, evidence photography, plus the ability to exit a vehicle while filming real-time video of emergency situations to properly assess the requested resources for dispatch. 

    Officers can take a tablet from the vehicle to the street and back to the office to be docked and used as a desktop PC — this seamless transition is the definition of true mobile computing. In the past, display real estate has been an issue with officers using tablets for their main computing solution but today tablet screen size has become comparable to the laptop or notebook and even offer digitized screens for glove-touch and sunlight viewability. 

    What about data entry? Many rugged tablets have backlit companion keyboards that seamlessly snap-on or bolt-on for quick typing ability. Rugged tablets are a practical solution offering complete mobility allowing for routine work to be more streamlined in the field, an imperative element in creating intelligent, real-time crime centers.

    Benefits of rugged laptops

    Not every rugged laptop is created equal and this is especially true when deciding which laptop solution to implement into your department. Many rugged laptops are purpose built for public safety and offer touchscreens for tapping and zooming, stylus pens for signatures and on-screen entry, a thin and light design, and ergonomic features such as swivel screens to be viewed by individuals both on the driver and passenger sides of the car.

    What about removing the device from the vehicle? Many officers never remove their device from the police vehicle and when given the choice, would rather not. When a mobile device is removed from the vehicle such as a rugged tablet the chance of the device being broken, driven over, stolen or misplaced is highly likely. When this happens, the device must be replaced which can be very costly over time. 

    An important aspect of a law enforcement laptop or notebook is the proper vehicle mounting solution. The last thing an officer needs is a large bulky computer impeding the process and increasing risk. Vehicle docking stations and consoles keep rugged laptops charged and ready to go while providing shock absorption and stability. 

    Rugged laptops will continue to evolve aiming to make jobs more efficient and productive — we see this today in the adoption of the two-in-one hybrid notebook which can be used as a laptop or tablet. For those who need the stability of a laptop, yet the light weight flexible form factor of a tablet, a two-in-one device may be the right solution for your department.

    When the time comes to implement new and advanced technology whether it be a tablet, laptop or a two-in-one device, police computers must be durable, high performing, easy to use with custom features and options, along with a realistic price point — an equation for value and return on investment.

    The mobile solutions experts at Group Mobile work with police departments nationwide and can assist you in determining the best equipment for your application and budget. 

  • 05 Mar 2017 7:02 AM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)

    By Dr. Jim DeLung

    The Millennial Generation is defined as a cohort of individuals born since 1980 (Barford & Hester, 2011; Crumpacker & Crumpacker, 2007; Howe & Struass in Balda & Mora, 2011). They are the latest generation impacting the workforce to include America’s police departments. Researching the most recent generation of employees affecting the workplace is not unique, but identifying the root causes of workplace satisfaction in policing through the Millennial voice is necessary for high customer service and retention (White & Escobar, 2008).

    Contemporary literature supports the proposition that Millennial employees behave differently in the workplace, but most employers apparently fail to integrate the needs of successive generations (Behrens, 2009). Before even being hired, traditional thinking in policing instructs new employees to adapt to the existing organizational technology and culture or go away (Greengard, 2011). 

    This workplace model is usually supported by police-themed television and movie culture, and it does not provide the best satisfactory workplace environment for high-speed Millennials yet to be immersed in the police culture. Creating the best environment for Millennials to want to become police officers and use their natural talents will increase workplace satisfaction and retention (Altes, 2009, Crumpacker & Crumpacker, 2007, Ekblad & Hathaway, 2010, Ferri-Reed, 2010, Siegfried, 2008).

    Workplace environment

    Barford & Hester (2011) explained the work attitudes of Millennial employees are consistently compared to the two previous generations in the workplace; Baby Boomers and Generation X. The authors stated it is incumbent upon the leaders of the two older generations to provide the necessary workplace environment for their youngest employees to not only succeed but thrive. 

    As discussed earlier, Millennial employees viewed workplace responsibilities and compensation as lower factors for job satisfaction with personal and professional advancement potential and free time as higher factors. This workplace attitude is clearly different than Baby Boomers and Generation X. The common and rigid, rules-laden, command and control workplace currently in policing and legislated by the Baby Boomers and Generation X leaders does not necessarily satisfy Millennial employees.

    Millennial strengths and values

    The Pew Research Center (2010) published a study which identified specific Millennial Generation values, attitudes, and experiences. Technologically proficient, constantly connected to social groups through the internet, and highly educated describes this latest generation of employees (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). 

    When compared to Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board’s standards for educational requirements, the Millennial Generation generally exceeds the minimum qualifications of high school diploma or general equivalency diploma with some college (AZPOST, 2013). 

     Barford and Hester (2011) suggested government work may present too few workplace opportunities and promotions, therefore failing to fully engage Millennials. The authors also stated Millennials may simply be bored with their current level of responsibility provided by their government jobs. Workplace challenges and genuinely solicited input are important to maintain Millennial employee engagement.

    Wanting to be heard

    A much higher level of flexibility when communicating to bosses and a valid voice heard in the workplace is a Millennial assertion (Kaifi et al., 2012). Millennials wish their voices to be heard by their bosses as well as their teammates as factors for workplace satisfaction (Ekblad & Hathaway, 2010). Employers are willing to advertise, recruit, hire and train Millennial employees, yet appear unwilling to place them on committees or allow them organizational input. Therefore, the best talent is not always retained in organizations due to overly-stringent government workplace polices (Kane, 2011). 

    Every Millennial-aged officer can be a leader in their organization to help propel workplace satisfaction of their peers (World Future Society, 2007). The Millennial Generation may have to take the lead in making workplace changes to provide the most satisfying workplace environment rather than waiting for current managers to act. These implications were acknowledged in this research through identification of Millennial workplace satisfiers and motivators.

    Job satisfaction

    Millennials rank benefits, praise/recognition, personal happiness as well as flexibility high for job satisfaction, and it should be noted that job security ranks at the bottom of their list (Trulock, 2011). Due to the recent blending of the industrial and mechanized era with the computerized information age, choices of contemporary American industries are plentiful for Millennials. Police leaders must be aware of the motivators for Millennial-aged employees, as Millennials today have choices of employers as well as industries to provide the job satisfaction they seek. 

    Police organizations are not just competing for Millennial-aged employees with other police agencies. Millennials are willing to look across multiple industries to identify the employer and industry that meets their workplace satisfaction needs.  Hira (2007) reported that Millennials have no reservations about quitting a job that does not satisfy their list of needs and moving back home with their parents to search for another job. There appears to be no stigma associated with such a decision for the Millennial Generation.

    Savvy with technology

    Technology is one of the great satisfaction dividers between Millennials and other generational cohorts. About 75% of Millennials are connected to the internet every day, while only 40% Baby Boomers tune in as often (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). The constant use of mobile cellular technology can be a point of contention for Millennials and their older bosses. The overwhelming majority of Millennials prefer to communicate via text messaging at 87% (Cekada, 2012) and they often prefer to only communicate in this manner. 

    This communication divergence can cause organizational conflict that leaders must better comprehend for organizational effectiveness. Technological communication in the workplace must be further researched to identify workplace behaviors and tools to improve communication and satisfaction.

    The technological, external hygiene factors for Millennials in the workplace are plenty. Because Millennials were raised during the digital age, they have a unique and competitive edge with contemporary communication and computing (Kaifi et al., 2012). Technology often increases the speed of decisions and deliverables, and this quickened pace can often result in Millennial employees appearing to be impatient and unsatisfied to older generations (Bannon, Ford, & Meltzer, 2011; Johnson 2011). 

    The advanced technological skill of Millennials sets them apart from previous generations in the workplace, but exists to support high job satisfaction. Proactive organizational leaders could blend technology ideas from Millennial employees in communication decision-making and budgets.

    Millennials also enjoy working in teams as a job-context hygiene factor. Millennial employees have most likely been placed in team atmospheres by their parents their entire lives to this point. Working together to problem-solve has been the main learning point of their schooling, sports and extracurricular activities. 

    Therefore, Millennials tend to look down upon the individualistic cut-throat political and bureaucratic rigor of the previous generations (Emeagwali, 2011). The author stated Millennials prefer workplace collaboration to the compromise of politics.

    Personal style and attire

    A more relaxed dress and workplace atmosphere are highly desired by Millennials (Welsh & Brazina, 2010) through dressed down work days or more relaxed work uniforms. A quick look at the laidback workplace environments of Google, Red Bull, Facebook and Zappos reveal employers very well known to Millennials who offer extremely informal workplace environments (Dunlap, 2014). Paramilitaristic workplaces may have to reexamine their utilitarian dress code to attract and maintain highly satisfied Millennial-aged police employees.

    Some intrinsic workplace motivators for Millennials also exist. Johnson (2011) interviewed Millennial employees and discovered new information. Millennials embraced social networking as they appear always plugged in and using the latest technology. They strive for self-improvement and advancement through employer-provided training, and they want to reach their career goals much faster than previous generations. This is often interpreted as impatience and entitlement to older generations of bosses and coworkers.

    Work-life balance

    A work-life balance is also mandatory for Millennials. Work and the environment must be fun. They expect to work collaboratively with their bosses rather than just for their bosses, which can be a challenge for some older generation leaders. All of the extrinsic factors and intrinsic motivators for Millennial-aged employees are important for organizational leaders to know, because research indicates employees in their twenties can be expected to stay in one position for just 1.1 years (Johnson, 2011). This high-level of turnover will negatively affect organizations through budgets and reduced customer service unless transformational leaders identify the issues and make the appropriate adjustments. 

     

    Author: "Hellofa motivator!" - Dr. Jim DeLung is currently serving with pride as the CEO of DeLung International at DeLung.com, a professional leadership and organizational development firm. As a successful private entrepreneur and public-sector leader, Dr. DeLung utilizes his education and experience for effective leadership and inspiration to organizations through interactive, adult-oriented training programs. More information available at www.DeLung.com


    By Dr. Jim DeLung

    The Millennial Generation is defined as a cohort of individuals born since 1980 (Barford & Hester, 2011; Crumpacker & Crumpacker, 2007; Howe & Struass in Balda & Mora, 2011). They are the latest generation impacting the workforce to include America’s police departments. Researching the most recent generation of employees affecting the workplace is not unique, but identifying the root causes of workplace satisfaction in policing through the Millennial voice is necessary for high customer service and retention (White & Escobar, 2008).

    Contemporary literature supports the proposition that Millennial employees behave differently in the workplace, but most employers apparently fail to integrate the needs of successive generations (Behrens, 2009). Before even being hired, traditional thinking in policing instructs new employees to adapt to the existing organizational technology and culture or go away (Greengard, 2011). 

    This workplace model is usually supported by police-themed television and movie culture, and it does not provide the best satisfactory workplace environment for high-speed Millennials yet to be immersed in the police culture. Creating the best environment for Millennials to want to become police officers and use their natural talents will increase workplace satisfaction and retention (Altes, 2009, Crumpacker & Crumpacker, 2007, Ekblad & Hathaway, 2010, Ferri-Reed, 2010, Siegfried, 2008).

    Workplace environment

    Barford & Hester (2011) explained the work attitudes of Millennial employees are consistently compared to the two previous generations in the workplace; Baby Boomers and Generation X. The authors stated it is incumbent upon the leaders of the two older generations to provide the necessary workplace environment for their youngest employees to not only succeed but thrive. 

    As discussed earlier, Millennial employees viewed workplace responsibilities and compensation as lower factors for job satisfaction with personal and professional advancement potential and free time as higher factors. This workplace attitude is clearly different than Baby Boomers and Generation X. The common and rigid, rules-laden, command and control workplace currently in policing and legislated by the Baby Boomers and Generation X leaders does not necessarily satisfy Millennial employees.

    Millennial strengths and values

    The Pew Research Center (2010) published a study which identified specific Millennial Generation values, attitudes, and experiences. Technologically proficient, constantly connected to social groups through the internet, and highly educated describes this latest generation of employees (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). 

    When compared to Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board’s standards for educational requirements, the Millennial Generation generally exceeds the minimum qualifications of high school diploma or general equivalency diploma with some college (AZPOST, 2013). 

    Barford and Hester (2011) suggested government work may present too few workplace opportunities and promotions, therefore failing to fully engage Millennials. The authors also stated Millennials may simply be bored with their current level of responsibility provided by their government jobs. Workplace challenges and genuinely solicited input are important to maintain Millennial employee engagement.

    Wanting to be heard

    A much higher level of flexibility when communicating to bosses and a valid voice heard in the workplace is a Millennial assertion (Kaifi et al., 2012). Millennials wish their voices to be heard by their bosses as well as their teammates as factors for workplace satisfaction (Ekblad & Hathaway, 2010). Employers are willing to advertise, recruit, hire and train Millennial employees, yet appear unwilling to place them on committees or allow them organizational input. Therefore, the best talent is not always retained in organizations due to overly-stringent government workplace polices (Kane, 2011). 

    Every Millennial-aged officer can be a leader in their organization to help propel workplace satisfaction of their peers (World Future Society, 2007). The Millennial Generation may have to take the lead in making workplace changes to provide the most satisfying workplace environment rather than waiting for current managers to act. These implications were acknowledged in this research through identification of Millennial workplace satisfiers and motivators.

    Job satisfaction

    Millennials rank benefits, praise/recognition, personal happiness as well as flexibility high for job satisfaction, and it should be noted that job security ranks at the bottom of their list (Trulock, 2011). Due to the recent blending of the industrial and mechanized era with the computerized information age, choices of contemporary American industries are plentiful for Millennials. Police leaders must be aware of the motivators for Millennial-aged employees, as Millennials today have choices of employers as well as industries to provide the job satisfaction they seek. 

    Police organizations are not just competing for Millennial-aged employees with other police agencies. Millennials are willing to look across multiple industries to identify the employer and industry that meets their workplace satisfaction needs.  Hira (2007) reported that Millennials have no reservations about quitting a job that does not satisfy their list of needs and moving back home with their parents to search for another job. There appears to be no stigma associated with such a decision for the Millennial Generation.

    Savvy with technology

    Technology is one of the great satisfaction dividers between Millennials and other generational cohorts. About 75% of Millennials are connected to the internet every day, while only 40% Baby Boomers tune in as often (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). The constant use of mobile cellular technology can be a point of contention for Millennials and their older bosses. The overwhelming majority of Millennials prefer to communicate via text messaging at 87% (Cekada, 2012) and they often prefer to only communicate in this manner. 

    This communication divergence can cause organizational conflict that leaders must better comprehend for organizational effectiveness. Technological communication in the workplace must be further researched to identify workplace behaviors and tools to improve communication and satisfaction.

    The technological, external hygiene factors for Millennials in the workplace are plenty. Because Millennials were raised during the digital age, they have a unique and competitive edge with contemporary communication and computing (Kaifi et al., 2012). Technology often increases the speed of decisions and deliverables, and this quickened pace can often result in Millennial employees appearing to be impatient and unsatisfied to older generations (Bannon, Ford, & Meltzer, 2011; Johnson 2011). 

    The advanced technological skill of Millennials sets them apart from previous generations in the workplace, but exists to support high job satisfaction. Proactive organizational leaders could blend technology ideas from Millennial employees in communication decision-making and budgets.

    Millennials also enjoy working in teams as a job-context hygiene factor. Millennial employees have most likely been placed in team atmospheres by their parents their entire lives to this point. Working together to problem-solve has been the main learning point of their schooling, sports and extracurricular activities. 

    Therefore, Millennials tend to look down upon the individualistic cut-throat political and bureaucratic rigor of the previous generations (Emeagwali, 2011). The author stated Millennials prefer workplace collaboration to the compromise of politics.

    Personal style and attire

    A more relaxed dress and workplace atmosphere are highly desired by Millennials (Welsh & Brazina, 2010) through dressed down work days or more relaxed work uniforms. A quick look at the laidback workplace environments of Google, Red Bull, Facebook and Zappos reveal employers very well known to Millennials who offer extremely informal workplace environments (Dunlap, 2014). Paramilitaristic workplaces may have to reexamine their utilitarian dress code to attract and maintain highly satisfied Millennial-aged police employees.

    Some intrinsic workplace motivators for Millennials also exist. Johnson (2011) interviewed Millennial employees and discovered new information. Millennials embraced social networking as they appear always plugged in and using the latest technology. They strive for self-improvement and advancement through employer-provided training, and they want to reach their career goals much faster than previous generations. This is often interpreted as impatience and entitlement to older generations of bosses and coworkers.

    Work-life balance

    A work-life balance is also mandatory for Millennials. Work and the environment must be fun. They expect to work collaboratively with their bosses rather than just for their bosses, which can be a challenge for some older generation leaders. All of the extrinsic factors and intrinsic motivators for Millennial-aged employees are important for organizational leaders to know, because research indicates employees in their twenties can be expected to stay in one position for just 1.1 years (Johnson, 2011). This high-level of turnover will negatively affect organizations through budgets and reduced customer service unless transformational leaders identify the issues and make the appropriate adjustments. 


    Author: "Hellofa motivator!" - Dr. Jim DeLung is currently serving with pride as the CEO of DeLung International at DeLung.com, a professional leadership and organizational development firm. As a successful private entrepreneur and public-sector leader, Dr. DeLung utilizes his education and experience for effective leadership and inspiration to organizations through interactive, adult-oriented training programs. More information available at www.DeLung.com

  • 28 Feb 2017 4:47 PM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)

    By Niky Smith

    The #IAM911 movement began as many movements do; in protest. A former 9-1-1 Public Safety Telecommunicator and current podcast host birthed this movement to encourage a change in the taxonomy of emergency dispatchers.

    Public Safety Telecommunicators are currently classified as “Office and Administrative Support Occupations” under the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget’s Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee. This classification essentially suggests that 9-1-1 dispatching is more of a clerical role than a responsive or protective one. 

    The #IAM911 campaign is an effort to spread the message that 9-1-1 telecommunicators do far more than clerical work, and are in fact first responders too.

    #IAM911 movement

    Ricardo Martinez II was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for almost 13 years. He now runs a highly popular podcast on Facebook titled, “Within the Trenches”. The mission of this podcast is to share, with the world, the real-life stories of what it takes to do the job of a 9-1-1 PST. 

    Through this online community, Ricardo saw the perfect opportunity to reach the masses and display his support for the reclassification of PSTs. He began by sharing his own story, which then inspired others to participate.


    It wasn’t long before the meme-style crusade began and dispatchers from all over the nation were sharing their stories too, across all social media platforms, and all with the hashtag of #IAM911.  

    During an interview with 9-1-1 Magazine, Ricardo made the following statement about the movement:

    “I wanted to create a movement that would raise awareness on what 9-1-1 dispatchers do on a daily basis and what they deal with during a call. My hope was to share a few stories and have dispatchers everywhere do the same. It would open the eyes and maybe spread out to the media and go viral.”

    Individuals were able to share some emotional moments of their personal, and often life altering interactions with 9-1-1 callers. Like giving CPR instructions over the phone (this is one of Ricardo’s personal experiences too).


    Or talking someone through their attempted suicide.


    They were also able to share the bond and connection they have with their brothers and sisters out in the field and the horrific moments when they weren’t able to help.


    They were even able to share intimate stories involving their own families.


    Every single one of the short stories delivered a very powerful message; PSTs do more than just answer a phone.

    Support #IAM911

    The #IAM911 movement affects and involves the entire public safety community. Every single person in this profession is working together to send help to those who have to dial 9-1-1 and to keep our responders safe while doing so. One cannot exist without the other.  

    If we are a community that is constantly striving to better ourselves (as we should be) then we need to have the same standards and expectations set forth for all public safety employees.

    • We can help each other out by encouraging and/or assisting agencies to adopt some sort of protocol so that the majority of 9-1-1 centers are actually giving lifesaving instructions instead of just answering the phone and sending help.  This is said to be a possible reason for the remaining “clerical” classification.
    • We can support local and national associations and/or chapters that offer training guidelines and continuing education courses. 
    • We can work more diligently in ensuring the civilian population understands the capabilities of the PST and what lifesaving advice can be given over the phone.

    The buy-in, however, must start from the top. 

    #IAM911 is yet another valiant effort by 9-1-1 dispatchers to gain the professional designation and respect that they earned. It is time for the rest of the public safety world to join us in the belief that not only are 9-1-1 PSTs first responders, they are in fact the first, first responder.

    Related article: IPSA Supports Public Safety Telecommunicators Being Properly Classified as a ‘Protective’ Occupation




  • 21 Feb 2017 7:14 AM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)

    Unlike other non-profits, the IPSA brings together the entire public safety community. Our membership represents law enforcement, fire service, EMS, telecommunicators, emergency management and allied emergency responders. 

    With there being so many non-profit membership associations out there, we wanted to give you three reasons to join the IPSA today (and refer others if you are already a current member).

    1. Training discounts
      The cost to join the IPSA begins at $25 per year. With this low-price, members receive discounts to our web-trainings and in-person events. For example, IPSA members receive free registration to our webcasts (a $50 value) - this alone shows an immediate return on investment. In addition, IPSA members receive 25% off our web-workshops, discounts to our on-demand video library and discounted rate to our upcoming conferences. Our web-trainings are year-round. 

    2. Professional development
      In addition to the professional development opportunities we offer through our trainings, the IPSA is rolling out several new committees and is continually recruiting members to join these committees to develop policy, research, web-trainings and articles for the public safety community. We currently have eight committees that are all peer-to-peer collaboration, and we're recruiting for new committee chairs for several other soon-to-be created committees.

    3. Publication opportunities
      Everyone in public safety has lessons learned to share and we offer two types of publication opportunities that will generate national and international exposure. But more importantly, these are opportunities to help your brothers and sisters who serve their communities. All IPSA members can submit to the IPSA Journal and become Bloggers.

      The IPSA Journal is a new public safety peer-reviewed journal that is governed by the Peer Review Committee (applications are being accepted through 2/28 for new committee members). The IPSA Blog is less rigorous than the journal, but still a great opportunity to submit thought-leadership articles for publication consideration.
    These are just three reasons to join the IPSA. We strongly encourage individuals who haven't joined yet to sign up today for our two year membership to give yourself an opportunity to get involved and give us time to show you why becoming an IPSA member is an important step in bringing together the public safety community. 

    For individuals who are members, we invite you to encourage a colleague to join today. Tell your leadership about us and ask them to send out a departmental email. Post this article on social media. Afterall, being a member is more than paying dues, it is about giving back and helping us grow so we can provide programs and services that facilitate interagency collaboration. 

  • 16 Feb 2017 5:30 PM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)

    We depend on critical infrastructure every day. Our ability to travel, to communicate with friends and family, to conduct business, to handle our finances, and even our ability to access clean, safe food and water are all reliant upon our Nation’s critical infrastructure networks and systems.
     
    These essential services that underlie daily life in American society are increasingly being run on digital networks. Every day, people connect to the national grid without even realizing it from their smart phones, computers, and tablets. As a result, these critical systems are prime targets for cyber attacks from those seeking to cause our country harm. Seventy percent of companies responsible for the world’s power, water, and other critical functions reported at least one security breach, throughout a 12-month period, that led to disruption of service or loss of confidential information, according to the Ponemon Institute in 2014.  Resilience of essential systems and assets, from power grids to banking systems, is vital to our national security, economy as well as our public health and safety.

    As the Department of Homeland Security transitions from October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) into November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month (CISR), we focus on the critical mission of defending our Nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Each November, DHS highlights the efforts between federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments and private sector partners to protect and secure the infrastructure Americans rely on every day to communicate, power, transport, and otherwise support our way of life.

    Every day, DHS works with critical infrastructure owners and operators to better secure our systems from cyber threats. The Department’s C3 Voluntary Program supports industry in increasing cyber resilience, promotes awareness and use of the Cybersecurity Framework, and encourages organizations to manage cybersecurity as part of an all hazards approach to enterprise risk management. For more information, please visit https://www.us-cert.gov/ccubedvp.

    Just as we all rely on critical infrastructure, we all play a role in keeping it strong, secure, and resilient. We can do our part at home, at work, and in our community by being vigilant, incorporating basic cyber safety practices into our daily routines, and making sure that if we see something, we say something by reporting suspicious activities to local law enforcement. The Stop.Think.Connect.™ encourages all Americans to take the following steps to play their part in securing our critical infrastructure.

    • Keep a clean machine. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against online threats. Keeping the software on your device up-to-date will prevent attackers from being able to take advantage of known vulnerabilities.
    • Turn on stronger authentication. Stronger authentication requires that you use your password in conjunction with an additional piece of information (commonly a one-time PIN sent to your mobile device). Even if cybercriminals have your password, they won’t be able to access the account without the second component if stronger authentication has been used. Visit www.LockDownYourLogin.com for more information on stronger authentication.
    • When in doubt, throw it out. Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.

    Consumers play an important role in helping to secure critical infrastructure by practicing good cyber hygiene themselves and by becoming well-informed about whether the companies and organizations they do business with adhere to high cybersecurity standards. For instance, individuals should read the privacy policy of a company or vendor before purchasing a product or service from them. Also, when individuals or companies look to set up a domain name, they should take advantage of free DNS security features that are offered by domain name registration companies.

    Originally published by https://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-campaign-blog

  • 05 Feb 2017 6:27 AM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)

    The Super Bowl is the most-watched television program in America, with more than 100 million people tuning in annually. Cyber criminals, hackers, and other malicious actors may take advantage of people’s enthusiasm for the game to gain access to information or commit fraud. While fans of opposing teams may not agree on much, everyone can agree that practicing safe online behavior is a smart play. Follow these tips to protect yourself and your family:

    • Use only reputable online retailers. Looking for a ticket to the game or official Super Bowl merchandise? Make sure the retailer is legitimate and that their website provides protection for online purchases. Look for the padlock symbol near the website address or for URLs that start with "https" or "shttp."
    • Stream carefully. For those watching the game online, make sure to use a legitimate website. Questionable websites may expose your computer to malware or other security risks to your privacy or personal information.
    • Be wary of public Wi-Fi. If you’re following the game online and in a public space, be careful about public Wi-Fi networks. Don’t conduct any sensitive activities, such as online banking or shopping, while connected to public Wi-Fi.
    • Think before you act. Be wary of "too good to be true" deals. Free tickets, cheap team merchandise, cheap collectibles – if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Slow down and think twice before clicking on such deals. It’s always important to read the fine print and see if these advertisements are a genuine touchdown rather than a malicious fumble.

    The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign encourages everyone to be cyber safe every day. For more tips and resources, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnectOriginally published on https://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-campaign-blog 

  • 30 Jan 2017 6:00 AM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)

    Executive Director and IPSA Founder, Heather R. Cotter answers some FAQs.

    Why did you start the IPSA?

    Since 9/11, we have all talked about the need to work together and integrate our efforts as first responders. But as of the year 2014, everything for public safety was still being done in silos at a national level. While the U.S. DHS offers multidiscipline programs, this is at the federal government level. No non-profit existed to unite the public safety community. 

    I saw a need to form a non-profit organization that would bring together all public safety disciplines to provide cross-training and networking opportunities. 

    I'm very proud of what IPSA has accomplished in less than three years. 

    What are your thoughts about President Trump?

    As with any new President, you have to take a step back, wait and see. There is a ton of media coverage right now (as to be expected). Every story has an angle so it's important to understand that and take it into perspective as you take the information in that's being shared. 

    I hope President Trump offers the public safety community funding and policy that will keep our first responders and communities safe. 

    I also want to see the IPSA get the opportunity to have a seat at the table to help shape policy and decisions that are being made by the White House that impact public safety - whether it's law enforcement, fire, EMS or any of the disciplines. 

    What opportunities exist for IPSA Members?

    IPSA Members have the opportunity to serve on our Board, serve as Officers, serve as Committee Chairs or Committee Members. They also have the opportunity to submit to our Blog, submit manuscripts to the IPSA Journal and attend trainings (web-based and in-person). 

    Members have the opportunity to represent us on working groups. The IPSA serves as Vice-Chair of the U.S. DHS Emergency Services Sector Coordinating Council and a current IPSA Member represents us at those meetings. We've also extended oppourtinites to our Members to inform the Presidential Cybersecurity Commission Report and other notable efforts. 

    How can individuals help IPSA?

    Help us build awareness by telling others about us, encouraging individuals to become Members, sharing or liking our posts on social media, registering for our 2018 conference, signing-up for our web-trainings and joining our committees. 

    Individuals can also help by donating and becoming a 2017 IPSA Supporter. Or, by telling a company they work with to become an IPSA Supporter.  

    Personally, I would love to see all of our Members help IPSA's fundraising and outreach efforts. As a grassroots organization, everyone has the opportunity to help us advance our mission and achieve our vision. 

    I believe our Members join to be a part of something important and needed in public safety. Joining IPSA is more than a resume builder. Joining IPSA is about being forward thinking and making a difference in the global public safety community. 

  • 24 Jan 2017 7:45 PM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)

    Goodyear, AZ, January 24, 2017

    The International Public Safety Association’s Board of Directors' appointed a new Vice Chair on January 21, 2017. Assistant Chief Chris DeChant with Glendale (Arizona) Fire Department was unanimously voted in by the Board of Directors during its first Board meeting of 2017.

    “What’s unique about this new, appointed leadership position within the IPSA is that the Vice Chair represents the fire service and our Chair, Chief Scott D. Edson of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, represents law enforcement. Bringing law enforcement and fire together, to build a collaborative and integrated public safety community, is what my vision was when I founded the IPSA in 2014,” said Executive Director Heather R. Cotter.

    DeChant has expertise in executive level fire department management with a demonstrated record of accomplishment. He was originally elected to serve on the IPSA’s Board of Directors in 2015. His new role as Vice Chair will give the IPSA more opportunities to expand its reach to the global public safety community. His extensive leadership background will help shape IPSA policy, programs and services provided to its membership.

    The IPSA Vice Chair of the Board of Directors serves in partnership with the Chair of the Board of Directors in achieving the organization’s mission. This position is the successor to the Chair position. In addition, the Vice Chair shall:

    • Be a current Board Member.
    • Be a current public safety practitioner working full-time for a public safety agency.
    • Performs Chair responsibilities when the Chair cannot be available.
    • Reports to the Board's Chair.
    • Participates closely with the Chair to develop and implement officer transition plans.
    • Performs other responsibilities as assigned by the Board.

    About the International Public Safety Association

    The International Public Safety Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was established in July 2014 in the State of Arizona to bring the public safety community closer together by offering opportunities to network, cross-train, and build a stronger public safety community capable of an effective joint response to all incidents.

    Press Contact: Heather R. Cotter, Direct: 866-535-8825 ext 1, heather@joinipsa.org 

    Source: International Public Safety Association


  • 24 Jan 2017 6:30 AM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)

    Starting from a young age, our teachers and parents teach us about crime. We learn to lock the doors at night, to say no to drugs, and to avoid talking to strangers. As we get older, we take safety measures to protect our money, our valuables, and our physical safety. 

    However, when it comes to our online lives, many of us frequently put these same things at risk. 

    Recognizing and combating cybercrime presents a unique challenge. In a world filled with technical jargon and complicated concepts, the average person may feel overwhelmed with the idea of protecting themselves from cybercrime. 

    However, there are quick, easy steps everyone can take – no matter their level of technical expertise – to protect themselves online. The first step in protecting yourself against cybercrime is knowing how to recognize it. Below are two common types of cybercrime and how to spot them:

    Phishing attacks. Cybercriminals use legitimate-looking emails that encourage people to click on a link or open an attachment. The email they send can look like it is from an authentic financial institution, e-commerce site, government agency, or any other service or business. The email may also request personal information like account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. Once you click on the link or open the attachment, the cybercriminal has access to your personal information, including your Social Security number, bank account information, and credit card number.

    Identity Theft. The illegal use of someone else's personal information in order to obtain money or credit. As we all move towards online banking and shopping, we share a startling amount of personal information online. Cybercriminals are constantly looking to steal this information online. How will you know if you’ve been a victim of identity theft? You might get bills for products or services you did not purchase. Your bank account might have withdrawals you didn’t expect. You may see unauthorized charges on your credit cards. You may be unexpectedly denied for a credit application (when you believe you should qualify).

    Protecting yourself from cybercrime may seem like a daunting task, but in reality it’s not. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “Identity Theft and Internet Scams Tip Card” and “Phishing Tip Card” provides easy steps you can take to protect yourself online. You can find these tip cards, along with other online safety resources, in the Stop.Think.Connect.TM Campaign’s Toolkit at www.dhs.gov/StopThinkConnect-Toolkit.

    All individuals have a responsibility to protect against cybercrime, but no one can do it alone. DHS is committed to building partnerships and providing the right resources needed to fight against cybercrime through the following components.

    • The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Cyber Crimes Center (C3) provides technical services and training to help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across the country, and international partners, in their cyber and technical investigations. The C3 includes the Cyber Crimes Unit, the Computer Forensics Unit, and the Child Exploitations Investigations Unit.
    • The United States Secret Service (USSS) Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) works to identify and locate international cyber criminals, and leverages partnerships with academia and the private sector to prevent, detect, and investigate electronic crimes, including potential terrorist attacks against critical infrastructure and financial payment systems.
    • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement (OSPIE) Surface Division, in partnership with both their public and private sector stakeholders, manages cybersecurity risk through maintaining and enhancing continuous awareness and promoting voluntary, collaborative, and sustainable community action to critical infrastructure operations within the Nation’s surface transportation systems.
    • The United States Coast Guard (USCG) works with private sector and government partners to address cyber risk and improve cybersecurity resiliency for the Nation’s ports, terminals, ships, refineries and their supporting systems.
    • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Continuity Programs (NCP) works to ensure that the federal government can continue to operate during a wide range of potential threats and emergencies, including cyber events. FEMA and the DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C) facilitate the Resilient Accord Workshop, an inter-organizational cyber security workshop designed to increase awareness and execution of continuity of operations during and after a cyber incident.

    Originally published on https://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-campaign-blog

  • 14 Jan 2017 9:49 AM | International Public Safety Association (Administrator)
    1. Have a protocol or agency specific plan for questioning caller(s). Here are some additional tips.
    2. Ask questions that will benefit the officer/responder. Try to see things from their perspective.  
    3. Keep responders updated with all new information to eliminate any surprises, especially assailant location information.
    4. Interact directly with the Incident Commander or on scene Communications Liaison if possible.
    5. Maintain a calm and confident tone throughout the call.
    6. At some point the call may be lost. Try and give as many safety instructions early on so that the caller(s) can prepare to escape or defend themselves.
    7. Hysterical callers are able to provide around 75% of the info needed to initiate the call. Listen and try not to unnecessarily interrupt.
    8. Each new caller is a potential new witness with new or updated information. Do not rush through any call.
    9. Remind the caller(s) to not rush towards the officers; they are there to take out the threat. They must approach with hands visible and follow all commands.
    10. Give description of assailant to everyone; internal departments and neighboring agencies.   
    11. If working the radio, remember to practice silence and the art of listening. Channels will need to be “Emergency Traffic” only.
    12. KNOW YOUR AGENCY’S RESPONSE PLAN! Ask to take part in any internal or community drills

    For more training and education, rent our on-demand webcast.

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