MCP Insights

Shooting Death Underscores Urgent Need for Action on Swatting Incidents

Posted by John Chiaramonte on Jan 8, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Swatting, the practice of falsely reporting an emergency to elicit a response from a police department’s special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team, is not a new phenomenon for the 911 community.

What is new is that a death has occurred as a result of a swatting incident.

On December 28, 2017, a dispute between online gamers turned ugly. Media reports say that one group, seeking retribution for some perceived wrongdoing, contacted a known swatter in Los Angeles and convinced him to act on their behalf. The swatter placed a call, spoofing his telephone number, to an administrative line at city hall in Wichita, Kansas, and a security guard transferred the call to 911. The caller told the 911 telecommunicator that he had shot his father in the head, was holding his mother and sister at gunpoint, had doused the house with gasoline, and was contemplating setting the building ablaze.

The telecommunicator dispatched a police response to the address provided by the caller. When police arrived, a 27-year-old man answered the door, and immediately was told to raise his hands and walk toward the officers. Regrettably, he lowered his hands to his waist, and an officer found the action threatening enough to fire a single shot at the man, killing him.

When one stops to mull this for a moment, especially considering the type of response that is dispatched to such incidents, it seems amazing that a swatting death has not happened before.

As if this event wasn’t tragic enough, the man had nothing to do with the online gaming dispute. In fact, he reportedly wasn’t a gamer at all—the swatter had provided a wrong address for the actual swatting target.

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Topics: Industry News, Operations, Public Safety Technology

A Look Back at 2017's Most Read Stories on MCP Insights

Posted by Morgan Sava on Dec 21, 2017 9:00:00 AM

This past year, we launched an online repository of articles called MCP Insights. Our vision was to create a destination for public safety communications and government leaders to expand their knowledge, stay abreast of emerging trends within the industry and hear about new ideas that will help to advance the industry and ultimately, improve emergency response outcomes.

This article features the most shared posts among our readership this past year. Read on to learn more, and while you’re at it, subscribe to receive notifications when a new MCP Insight is released.

A Massive Outage that Affected PSAPs Across the US

In March 2017, an extensive outage impacted 911 service in a number of states. It revealed the need for increased communication among service providers during outages and similar incidents, but it also reminded us that PSAPs should take proactive steps to soften the impacts of unpredictable outages, beginning with an extensive refresh and review of their policies and procedures, as well as testing.

“Sunny-day” outages, like the one that occurred in March, is just another example of why the public safety communications sector needs to push forward with Next Generation 911 (NG911).

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Topics: Industry News, Public Safety Technology

Social Media and Emergency Response: The Challenge with Leveraging Social Media Data

Posted by Dr. Andrea H. Tapia on Dec 6, 2017 3:30:00 PM

In a previous post, we examined how social media had a profound effect on emergency response in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake that devastated the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. This marked the first instance of social media being leveraged in this manner, when disaster victims rose up to play a role in their own rescue.

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Topics: Next Generation 911, Continuing Education, Public Safety Technology

Social Media and Emergency Response: A Powerful Combination

Posted by Dr. Andrea H. Tapia on Dec 1, 2017 2:30:00 PM

A network television show that debuted recently is centered on a crowd-sourcing platform that is used to solve all sorts of serious crimes, and in some cases, prevent them. While this may seem implausible, it actually is a case of art imitating life.

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Topics: Next Generation 911, Continuing Education, Public Safety Technology

Data and How It Will Change the Public Safety Communications Landscape [WEBINAR]

Posted by Morgan Sava on Nov 17, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Ready or not, data is taking over the world. So what does that mean for emergency communications?

The way in which public safety answering points (PSAPs) respond to both emergency, and non-emergency events, will change dramatically once public safety communications starts harnessing the the increasing availability of data in our communities. Here are some interesting stats:

  • Internet-connected machines are expected to be more than 200 billion by 2020 according to research from Intel.
  • Gartner predicts that the IoT market will eventually include 20.8 billion things.
  • Technology giant Ericsson predicts that in 2018, there will be more IoT gadgets than mobile devices.

In today’s communications environment, PSAPs rely primarily on voice communications to provide an up-to-date picture of what’s happening at the emergency scene and communicate with other first responders. This is problematic when the communications infrastructure becomes disabled during natural disasters, or when a victim is unable to place a call for help.

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Topics: Continuing Education, Public Safety Technology

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MCP Insights by Mission Critical Partners is the online destination for public safety leaders to expand their knowledge, stay abreast of trends, and discover innovative ideas to help implement change that will advance the industry... Because the mission matters.

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