Orange County Insight June 2022

Orange County ’ s Connected Public Safety Advancements Earn National Association of Counties Achievement Award

By: Orange County Communications Department

Orange County recently earned nationwide attention, focused on the related projects of our “ Connected Public Safety Advancements. ” After reviewing our nomination, the National Association of Counties (NACo) determined that the effective implementation and revolutionary nature of our Public Safety Building, P25 Digital Radio infrastructure, and Computer - Aided Dispatch system were worthy of recognition with a 2022 Achievement Award. NACo Achievement Awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. Orange County ’ s “ Connected Public Safety Advancements ” certainly fit that bill.

While the Public Safety Building is the largest physical component of our advancements, there are two (2) key supporting technologies that have recently been adopted. Interwoven into the larger plan, they are the

Computer - Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and the P25 Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system. Each provides breakthrough advances compared to prior solutions, but working together and coupled with the aforementioned infrastructure of the new building, the improvement is revolutionary.

The Computer - Aided Dispatch (or CAD) system allows our Emergency Communications (E - 911) staff to access additional resources and transmit information to first responders. The system is intelligent enough to automatically cross reference and correlate previously disconnected information points from cross - departmental datasets. That information is then delivered, in

real time, to the MDTs (mobile data terminals) present in response vehicles, or mobile devices. For example, it can provide a deputy with information about a suspect ’ s prior police interactions or inform an EMT about a patient ’ s self - reported medical history. This knowledge serves to promote best possible outcomes and safety during emergency responses.

A radio tower site under construction.

Our connected public safety advancements have achieved decades ’ worth of improvements in just a few short years. Doing so required the concerted effort of elected leaders and both our administrative and operationally - focused staff members, as well as constant communication with vendors and outside organizations. This collaboration fostered new relationships and partnerships. As such, these advancements and the implementation behind them have brought immediate and transformative changes to our public safety services, while creating an atmosphere receptive to further improvement. The ultimate beneficiaries of these projects are our residents, who can rest assured that our personnel are supported by state - of - the - art tools when responding to an emergency.

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