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Cassidian Launches Communications Portal for Public Safety

July 22, 2011  | 

Cassidian Communications has announced the deployment of its Self-Registration Portal (SRP) by numerous U.S. public safety operations utilizing The Communicator! NXT, GeoCast Web and REVERSE 911 notification solutions.

Use of the web-based SRP enables clients to gather contact information such as cell, VoIP and unpublished numbers from local residents, expanding the reach and effectiveness of these critical notification systems beyond existing 9-1-1 databases, which currently contain only landlines.

"Increasing numbers of people are relying on mobile phones, e-mail and SMS for communications," said Mike Adams, product line manager of the Notification Solutions and Services (NSS) division of Cassidian Communications. "The same holds true for emergency notification, and so we, as the established leader, must accommodate the needs of both our industry and our individual clients through tools like the SRP."

Among the many Cassidian Communications clients who have implemented the SRP are Maricopa County (Ariz.), San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office (Calif.), Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department (Calif.), Layton City Police Department (Utah), Corpus Christi Fire/EMS (Texas) and Vienna Police Department (Va.).

The SRP is a web-based tool that allows local residents to proactively sign up to receive alerts issued by law enforcement, fire/EMS and emergency management. Once implemented, the SRP's web address or hyperlink can be displayed on an operation's website, quickly routing visitors to the portal. Here, people can complete a short form to supply their contact information and set personal preferences for situational notification (e.g., inclement weather, missing persons and crime).

"With the SRP supplementing our REVERSE 911 system, we are able to give our residents the ability to add and manage their information more effectively," said Joe Ayala, Dispatch Programs Administrator, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. "This frees our dispatchers from having to enter and correct registration requests manually, allowing them to work on other priorities."

"We are currently using television public service announcements to drive people to sign up on the Self-Registration Portal to make sure we are serving all our cell phone-equipped population," said Rob Bryn, public information officer with the San Luis Obispo County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office.

The SRP features a fully customizable interface, allowing Cassidian Communications clients to match the look and feel of their own Web sites. Administrators can set security parameters and user-defined fields, as well a receive comprehensive reporting of portal activity.

"The SRP product has helped us leverage our reverse contact infrastructure to allow all town departments better access to Vienna residents who wish to receive updates about services the town provides, or other informational notices of interest to them," said Charles Ghent, IT Administrator, Vienna Police Department. "It also allows us to maintain a secure contact list for residents with unlisted phones, cell phones or other VoIP-type technology to provide geographically based emergency public safety and public service alerts."

Several other Cassidian Communications clients, including Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness (La.), are working to deploy the SRP in the near future.  

"By implementing the SRP, organizations can expand their communications reach to include a much wider audience," said Adams. "Just as important, they can do so without increasing resources and expense, making it beneficial to both our clients and the people who ultimately will be notified."

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