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First Responder Program Breaks Ground
An IT project spearheaded by an alliance of lawmakers, IBM and software vendor Tarantella took its first steps last week toward providing a mobile data infrastructure that links local law enforcement and public safety agencies in a single database. When finished, the Mississippi Automated System Project (ASP) will provide mobile units with real-time access to all available public safety information including mug shots, arrest warrants, criminal intelligence, hazardous materials data and medical emergency protocols.
This pilot project, backed by of U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Trent Lott (R-MS) could eventually become a national model for connecting more states via a centralized software applications model. The initial deployment of the Mississippi ASP will support all law enforcement, fire department and emergency medical services within three counties. The first phase of three phases, which was completed in February of 2004, provided a single point of access to the existing jail management system of three county jails. The second phase, initiated in June, allows integrated records management and computer aided dispatch for fire and law enforcement. The third and final phase of the project, which is expected to be deployed in October, will implement the mobile data infrastructure -- connecting laptops in all police, fire and emergency vehicles to multiple databases.
Each centralized datacenter network will consist of one IBM eServer iSeries 825 and two eServer xSeries 445 systems running Tarantella Secure Global Desktop Enterprise Edition remote access software, Novell's SUSE Linux and IBM DB2. That data center will be linked to an identical, but separate, datacenter to provide redundancy and guarantee that there is no single point of failure. As the ASP system grows, the networks will be joined to link multiple jurisdictions into a single centralized information source.
The initial project deployment is being funded by $14 million in Federal grants to The University of Southern Mississippi in support of the Automated System Project.
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