Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) visited The University of Southern Mississippi's
Gulf Coast campus in Long Beach Wednesday morning to recognize the
substantial achievements of the Mississippi Automated System Project
in implementing a pilot network to improve data communications between
the state's first responders.
The ASP was
initiated in June 2002 under the governance of the three coastal
sheriffs who partnered with Southern Miss to hold the federal grants
for the project. With $14 million secured by Cochran and Sen. Trent
Lott (R-Miss.) to enhance data information sharing among all local
first responders - including individuals working in law enforcement,
fire fighting, and emergency medical services - the project has
achieved tremendous success in a relatively short period.
the project was to bring all three sheriff's departments, 10 police
departments, 15 fire departments, and two EMS providers in the three
coastal counties of Mississippi onto a single, centralized, data
information sharing system," said Dr. Julian Allen, executive
director for Public Safety Technology and Training Programs at Southern
Miss Gulf Coast. "This would put critical, time-sensitive information
in the hands of the first responders at the local level." Subsequently,
the project is beginning to move out of the coastal counties into
other areas of the state.
proud that Southern Miss is serving as 'home base' for this critical
homeland security project," said university President Shelby
Thames. "We have developed a model partnership between higher
education and public safety that I believe can be followed nationwide."
At the conclusion
of the project, this centralized information database will contain
every type of public safety information, Allen said. "Information
such as arrest warrants, criminal intelligence, mug shots, hazardous
materials data, and medical emergency protocols will all be available
across multiple jurisdictions, enhancing the first responders' abilities
to prevent and respond to incidents posing danger to the public."
The first two
of three major milestones for the project have been met.
of a Jail Management System that supports the three coastal county
jails went live Feb. 3, 2004, a first in Mississippi history.
of the Records Management System for fire and law enforcement
and Computer Aided Dispatch for fire fighting, law enforcement,
and EMS was achieved June 8, 2004, when the Long Beach Police
Department, Long Beach Fire Department, and Harrison County Sheriff's
Department went live on RMS and CAD.
of a mobile data infrastructure that will connect laptop computers
in the responders' vehicles to the JMS, RMS, CAD, and other databases
is anticipated in October. CAD, RMS, and Mobile Application are
provided by the team of BellSouth Business Systems and InterAct
Public Safety Systems.
to these milestones, the project has been expanded and partnered
with the Mississippi attorney general to provide software and networking
for a Case Management System by Ciber for the 22 district attorney
offices throughout the state.
The two centralized
data centers for the network are separated by 60 miles - one in
Pascagoula and another in Hattiesburg. These centers contain identical
IBM eServer iSeries 825 servers that act as backup for each other
through Lakeview MIMIX software. Each center also has two eServer
xSeries 445 servers running Tarantella Enterprise 3 remote access
centralized information-sharing design works on the economies of
scale business model that drives the recurring maintenance and support
services costs down as more agencies come on board," Allen
said, the centralized approach makes end-user training and system
upgrades less expensive and easier to implement. Looking to the
future, Allen anticipates a system like this offering an opportunity
to all local public safety agencies in Mississippi to come on board
at a reasonable cost.
back the homeland security onion and you'll find this project at
the center," Allen said. "This is homeland security!"
For more information
about the Mississippi Automated System Project, call Dr. Julian
Allen at the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute at (228)