The Statewide Interoperability Advisory Council, formerly known as the Statewide Wireless Network Advisory Council, met to discuss the strategy moving forward after the M/A-COM contract was terminated in January 2009. The new strategy will focus on regionally-based statewide radio and data network systems for emergency first responders with state oversight.
New York State Chief Information Officer and Director of the Office for Technology, Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, and Harry J. Corbitt, Superintendent of the New York State Police, will serve as Co-Chairs of the Statewide Interoperability Advisory Council, formerly the Statewide Wireless Network.
During the meeting, New York State Chief Information Officer and Director of the Office for Technology, Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart announced Harry J. Corbitt, Superintendent of the New York State Police, will serve as Co-Chair of the Statewide Interoperability Advisory Council. The shared role better reflects the important combination of technical leadership and public safety operational leadership required to build successful public safety networks. In addition, the new name places greater emphasis on the need for New York State first responders to achieve interoperability across jurisdictions and across all levels of government.
“I am pleased Superintendent Corbitt has agreed to co-chair the Council with me,” Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart said. “I believe greater participation by the State Police and all first responders will help ensure the needs of first responders across the state will be met and will help to successfully engage local agencies more thoroughly as we move forward to build cohesive and interoperable emergency radio networks. Governor David A. Paterson remains committed to having effective interoperable public safety systems for New Yorkers.”
Superintendent Harry Corbitt said, “The State Police welcomes the opportunity to join CIO/OFT to help lead the first responder community to build an interoperable radio network. This is about partnership and not ownership. Our goal is to ensure first responders statewide have state-of-the-art ability to respond to criminal incidents, natural disasters, or acts of terrorism.”
Dr. Nancy Perry, Acting Statewide Interoperability Program Director, and Colonel Steven Cumoletti, from the New York State Police, jointly presented highlights of the preliminary strategy to move forward. The new strategic roadmap for the Statewide Interoperability Program includes:
- Committing to Statewide Interoperable Public Safety Communications;
- Focusing on Interconnected Regional “Systems of Systems,” using Proven Technologies;
- Emphasizing State Strategic Oversight and Technical Assistance;
- Enhancing the Governance Structure with State and Local Participants; and
- Renaming and Redefining the Program Office to focus on Statewide Interoperability Capacity.
In December 2007, the Advisory Council agreed to accept the additional responsibility of oversight for the recommendations by the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee for distribution of Public Safety Interoperability Communication grants. This expanded responsibility was one of the first steps in moving the Advisory Council’s role toward a broader scope for New York State, which focused on Interoperability.
John Grebert, Executive Director of the NYS Association of Chief of Police, discusses the importance of having an interoperable radio and data system for first responders.
Other presentations during the meeting discussed repositioning the strategic focus on balancing state and local needs. The state will continue to provide technology guidelines, program management, technical assistance, quality assurance, radio frequency management, and project verification and validation.
John Grebert, Executive Director of the New York State Chiefs of Police said, “State, county, and local public service agencies can work together, share resources, and save money. We now have two excellent examples in New York of multi-county radio systems that will be interoperable, and that will dispatch state, country, and local public service resources. These systems may just provide the blueprint of a ‘system of systems’ as the state is proposing as a way forward.”
Michael Allen, Director of the Oswego County E-911 Public Safety Center, and John Balloni, Commissioner of the Onondaga County Department of Emergency Communications, address the Statewide Interoperability Advisory Council.
Regional consortia will be responsible for acquiring and deploying of public safety systems which are aligned with the statewide interoperable strategy. Michael Allen from Oswego County, and John Balloni from Onondaga County, talked about the five-county consortium in Central New York that is already working to create a regional interoperability network for first responders.
Balloni said, “We believe the state can help us encourage the development of regional consortiums. We recognize that in our five-county consortium the day-to-day need is to interoperate with each other. But that need does go beyond our borders to neighboring regions. Whenever a major disaster strikes, it affects us all; and we need to have associated regions that can communicate with each other. We support the state’s preliminary strategy going forward and believe it will result in successful emergency response for all levels of government.”
A webcast of the meeting is available for 30 days at the following link: http://www.oft.state.ny.us/SIPO/Advisorycouncil/webcast.htm
Angela R. Liotta
Acting Public Information Officer/
Director of Media Relations