Public safety practitioners learned the challenges, benefits, and best practices for sharing data between agencies at the FirstNet in Utah Data Sharing Workshop, held on March 12th. Sponsored by the Utah Communications Authority (UCA), the workshop included an informal discussion in “talk show” format, featuring Lieutenant Dwayne Anjewierden of the Unified Police Department, Jacque Waring-Miller, FirstNet Authority Field Operations Director, and Tracey Murdock, FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor.

Attendees then joined in the discussion, providing personal inputs regarding their data sharing needs and priorities, using their smart phones as input devices. Jacque stated that Utah was the first state to provide these inputs about data sharing and that the FirstNet Authority will use this information to inform the vendor community and to prioritize network reinvestment.

Prior to the discussion, Gordy Coles, UCA Interoperability Division Director, kicked off the workshop and Paul Patrick, FirstNet Board Member and Division Director of Family Health and Preparedness for the Utah Department of Health, welcomed attendees. Shae Cook, AT&T FirstNet Solutions Consultant, summarized FirstNet deployment progress in Utah and highlighted the many data sharing apps available in the FirstNet Apps Catalog.

Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, Mike Boyden, Senior Manager, SAIC, presented the results of the prior month’s Information Sharing Assessment Tool (ISAT) online survey. Utah public safety had turned out in force, with over 50 agencies participating in the ISAT. A results summary can be found here. Prior to closing the workshop, Gordy noted the ISAT will remain open for another two weeks for agencies wishing an immediate self-assessment of their data sharing readiness.

Finally, UCA has developed a compendium of Public Safety Data Sharing Recommendations and Best Practices that provides helpful tips as well as pitfalls to avoid for agencies wishing to improve and expand their data sharing capabilities. The Best Practices guide can be found here.  

UCA has made available the presentation slides for those unable to attend. Workshop slides can be found here.