It all began with Dolly, perhaps the most notable sheep in the last century—or any century for that matter. Dolly was the first animal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell. To put this phenomenal technical accomplishment in perspective, when she was born in 1996, a high-end personal computer with 8 megabits of memory and a 400-megabyte hard drive cost between $3,000 and $4,000. Today, a laptop with 4 gigabytes of memory and a 500-gigabyte hard drive is less than $400.
"If one of those types of attacks were to occur anywhere in the United States, nowhere else has the assets we have that are well-trained and ready. But those are the ones you hope never happen. No matter how good we are, there is no good outcome."-Cathy L. Lanier, chief of police, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C.
Police departments and other city agencies weave web to conduct business.
An officer with the Ripon Police Department in California uses his patrol car laptop to view real-time video of a separate area of the city. The images are sent via Ripon’s mesh network system.
Through cooperation and planning, federal program uses lowest level approach first to create joint communications.
Planning methodology developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Safecom program assists states in developing first responder communications interoperability plans that start with input at the local level.
Similar hurdles encumber bringing new technologies and interoperability to public safety.
The U.S. Justice Department is facing problems similar to those of the U.S. Defense Department as it tries to enable communications interoperability among civilian public safety organizations. It must ensure that any of thousands of different communications systems can interoperate during times of crisis, but those systems often have been procured independently without any applied standards.