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11 so much that they have almost equaled radio capabilities. In an unusual, but effective arrangement, New York State Key personnel from some of the agencies can coordinate Thruway Authority funds and operates a joint CAD system with points of contact at other agencies (and within their own with the New York State Police (Troop T) that patrols the agency) via commercial wireless push-to-talk networks. Thruway. Thruway Authority personnel dispatch Troop T officers for all traffic-related operations and emergency events. However, there are criminal justice activities and 3.2.3 Electronic Text other law enforcement functions that Thruway staff are not authorized to perform. State police staff, also located at the Alphanumeric pagers, cellular short message service text Thruway center, handle all nontraffic calls and coordinate messaging, and email are used by some individuals to com- law enforcement activities with other public safety agencies. municate within their agencies. However, these applications Incorporating all of the combined public safety and trans- are not the key means for sharing TIM information with other portation users into the same CAD system obviously avoids agencies. the technical integration headaches that integrating separate CAD systems, while also not yet a key method for inter- systems would bring. agency information sharing, have become a component of Most existing CAD systems are proprietary and are not incident information-sharing networks in six locations. CAD designed to exchange information with CAD systems offered systems provide automation support for tracking incidents or by other vendors, let alone with transportation systems. Addi- other events and resources allocated to the emergency scene. tional challenges are posed by variations in formats and pro- Each transaction is logged into a database and available for tocols for data and for messaging and by variations in system later retrieval and analysis (as required by law for certain standards in the transportation and public safety communities. agencies and jurisdictions). Advanced systems include graph- The USDOT launched two projects in 2003 to demonstrate ical maps, the ability to locate vehicles automatically, and that the technical and institutional barriers to public safety mobile data terminals in vehicles. Such information sharing, and transportation system integration can be overcome. It is at present, is primarily in the form of text messaging. expected that exchanges between these resources will allow Depending on local interpretations of security restrictions, equipment and personnel to be more efficiently deployed, such access may range from a limited and filtered read-only incidents to be more quickly resolved, and traffic to be more stream of incident status information to nearly the level of safely managed. Some public safety agencies, such as the access enjoyed by law enforcement officers. A CAD termi- CHP, are already publicly posting real-time traffic incident nal may be deployed out to the transportation agency, or a information from their CAD systems. For example, live transportation system terminal may be placed in a public updates of traffic incidents from the CHP CAD are posted safety facility. on the World Wide Web (2). The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) can provide TxDOT with incident data through an interface between SAPD's CAD system and the TransGuide traveler information 3.2.4 Other Media and Advanced Systems system. For many years, WSP has provided incident data to WSDOT via a WSP CAD terminal located in the Northwest Transportation and public safety agencies in most regions Region Traffic System Management Center. In San Diego, employ a wide range of surveillance and communications Caltrans receives incident data output from the CHP CAD sys- technologies. The traveler information and traffic manage- tem. Salt Lake City's incident response teams have nearly ment systems operated by transportation agencies in many fully functional CAD terminals in their vehicles (along with metropolitan areas include CCTV or other video systems, radios compatible with the law enforcement radio system). embedded sensors in roadways, variable message signs, and Security considerations are paramount when sensitive com- highway advisory radio systems. Information generated by munication and information-processing systems are used, these systems is useful for detecting and responding to inci- particularly by people who are not sworn law enforcement dents, managing traffic, and informing the traveling public. officers or even members of law enforcement agencies. The Traveler information and traffic management systems are implications can be daunting from the standpoint of human designed to provide information to the general traveling pub- resources management. Transportation personnel may be lic regarding road and traffic conditions. Features of these sys- required to undergo background investigations, have spe- tems make it easier for the traveler to determine his or her loca- cialized training, and be exposed to greater personal and pro- tion, the best route to take to reach a chosen destination, and fessional risk than might have been originally expected. And, the travel conditions along the route. Public safety also has a even with as much preparation as might be imagined, trans- frequent need to travel quickly and efficiently from one loca- portation responders may still be prevented from participat- tion to another using the same roadway system. Many features ing in certain incidents and be subject to information restric- and services provided by transportation and traffic manage- tions. This possibility could be due to risks to responders, ment systems can therefore also benefit fire and rescue, law criminal justice considerations, or homeland defense intelli- enforcement, and EMS while responding to calls. Traffic man- gence considerations. agement services can provide valuable information regarding
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12 real-time traffic congestion, road conditions, and the situation cameras, video images are disseminated to the media and to at the scene of an incident. Even though public safety person- the San Antonio City Hall via the City of San Antonio Wide nel may be familiar with the road geography of the jurisdic- Area Network (WAN). In addition, TransGuide shares video tion, they may be less so of surrounding jurisdictions to which with other emergency responders, the local media, and the they may be called when an incident escalates beyond the general public by broadcasting live video over a 1,000-watt capabilities of local responders to handle. This is especially Low Power Television (LPTV) system (3). This system pro- true for major incidents and disasters that may require state, vides up to four views that are selected by the TransGuide regional, or federal response from a long distance. operations staff. This system can also be used by incident TIM has embraced the advanced information formats responders to assist in determining what equipment and vehi- offered by the Internet and other modern information systems. cles are the most appropriate for the response. Some of the data, such as video and still images, are shared The new regional center in Austin will enable police dis- between agencies through co-location and remote access to the patchers to view monitors showing CCTV images. Dispatch- systems. However, most agencies make imagery available to ers will have control of the cameras when TxDOT personnel the public through the Internet; some provide low-bandwidth are not present. "snapshot" frame captures of highway CCTV camera video, Through an agreement with Arizona DOT, Phoenix Fire and some provide streaming video. Dynamic, interactive map- Department dispatchers receive video images that are shown ping displays are commonly used to portray the overall traffic on monitors in the dispatch center. Although rights to control situation for metropolitan areas, linked to detailed informa- the pan-tilt-zoom functions of the cameras are not defined in tion for each trouble spot. This multilayered information is a formal agreement, dispatchers are able to control the cam- ideally formatted for quick and easy use, providing simulta- eras. Dispatchers primarily use the information to provide neous summary, brief descriptions, and detailed information responders with closure information that helps to foster a more for the traveler. The stratification of this information fits well expedient response. with TIM, where top-level managers want the big picture and In the Salt Lake City, transportation operations center, task leaders need detailed and specific information. either UDOT or highway patrol dispatchers can control CCTV The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) has High- systems during significant incidents. DOT staff have more way Conditions Reporting System (HCRS) workstations in three dispatch centers statewide. These workstations enable experience and usually accomplish this task during the hours the Arizona DPS to directly input information about roadway they work at the center. closures or any other circumstances affecting the operations Broadband technologies enable high-speed communica- of state highways. tions. The USDOT ITS Joint Program Office partnered with WSDOT currently operates more than 250 CCTVs through- Albany region agencies to demonstrate the benefits of such out the Seattle metropolitan area. Through an operational high-speed communications for traffic management opera- agreement, WSDOT provides WSP with the images from tions (4). The network supported simultaneous interchange of these cameras. In addition, WSDOT provides WSP with sec- voice, data, and video services in a cost-effective manner. ondary control of the cameras to enables WSP dispatchers to Data encryption was established by the wireless component, view the incident scene, verify incidents, and dispatch addi- and a firewall was added to provide access control and authen- tional officers if needed. tication. This prototype system allowed cross-agency sharing The TxDOT-operated TransGuide system includes CCTVs of freeway management system information and video feeds that are implemented on 73 miles of freeway throughout the and enabled video teleconferencing, direct audio feed from metropolitan area. Although TxDOT maintains control of the radio systems, and dedicated telephone "hotlines" (5).