Cisco IPICS Key to Helping the New Zealand Police Protect and Serve the Public
Thinking back to all the Cisco PR launches I’ve led in the past 11+ years, the launch of Cisco IPICS back in 2005 definitely ranks in my top five because the benefit to emergency responders is so compelling. Essentially what Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS) does is allow emergency dispatchers to within minutes create “virtual talk groups” so emergency responders (fire, police, ambulance and other public safety agencies) that come in from different states and countries to respond to an emergency or natural disaster can all communicate with each other. And the beauty of the solution is that the emergency responder can use their own communication device which they’re already familiar with as Cisco IPICS can connect all push-to-talk radios, mobiles, traditional and IP phones and laptop/PC clients together.
So of course I was particularly excited to hear that the New Zealand Police have rolled out Cisco IPICS and have already seen some impressive results.
Last week, amongst a series of safety and security innovations, Cisco announced a new version of Cisco IPICS 4.5. and New Zealand Police were a part of the announcement due to their successful implementation of Cisco IPICS 4.0.
As Warren O’Conner, National Networks Manager – New Zealand Police discusses in this video, the New Zealand Police are delighted with the reliability, flexibility and security that IPICS has provided over the last 12 months since its roll-out. One major advantage is that IPICS allows all New Zealand emergency services communication channels to have interoperability. This particular feature was crucial during the recent Christchurch Earthquake and is also proving very helpful currently with the major police operation that is supporting the Rugby World Cup.
The success of IPICS for the New Zealand police force was recently reported on by Computerworld Australia journalist, Hamish Barwick, who wrote ‘NZ Police tune into encrypted digital radio network’. The article quotes Murray Mitchell, the acting CIO of the New Zealand Police Force saying, “Deployment of the encrypted digital radio network to the Auckland, Wellington [North Island] and Canterbury [South Island] districts also allows our frontline officers and communications centres to communicate securely” and that the implementation has also meant easier integration with other emergency services such as the NZ Fire Service. Read the full Computerworld article here.