SAFECOM Education and Outreach Committee Launches its First Outreach Activities

Author: The Office of Emergency Communications

The SAFECOM Education and Outreach Committee has started executing a long-term strategic goal of both SAFECOM and the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) - to implement and maintain an ongoing outreach effort across all public safety disciplines.

First, the Committee developed the SAFECOM Membership Outreach Plan and established the SAFECOM Engagement Team (SET).  This team will be used to complement OEC’s Outreach staff in increasing the number of SAFECOM engagements across the public safety community. 

SAFECOM has also been developing several tools to assist state and local decision makers in understanding the issues they will be addressing concerning funding and sustainment of current Public Safety Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems into the foreseeable future as the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) is developed by FirstNet across the country.  The joint SAFECOM/National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators Funding and Sustainment Committee developed the LMR Trio- Part 1, LMR 101; Part 2, LMR for Decision Makers; and Part 3, LMR for Project Mangers.  The Committee has also developed a Funding and Maintaining Public Safety Radio Systems brochure to ensure decision makers and elected officials provide funding and resources to LMR systems.  These materials will be used in SAFECOM’s outreach engagements across the country. 

In June, SAFECOM and OEC collaborated to launch the initial SAFECOM pilot outreach effort at the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting, held in San Diego, California.  OEC worked with PSCR to set up a SAFECOM display at the event where Mike Murphy, SAFECOM Member at Large from the Baker, Louisiana Police Department, spoke with PSCR stakeholders about SAFECOM and its activities.  The pilot effort was a success, and Mike Murphy stated that the event was ideal for the initial outreach pilot for the SAFECOM team. 

SAFECOM and OEC then worked together in July to hold their first joint booth deployment at the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2016 Annual Conference and Expo in Long Beach, California.  Representatives from OEC’s Outreach team, along with Mike Murphy, displayed the OEC and SAFECOM booths together and spent three days talking about the organizations’ programs with county officials from across the country.  This event was an excellent opportunity for SAFECOM and OEC to combine their outreach efforts and reach key stakeholders.  “We were able to engage the target audience for several of our recent publication efforts, especially the Funding and Maintaining Public Safety Radio Systems brochure we introduced at this conference.  There was a lot of interest in the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) Trio publications, especially the LMR for Decision Makers”, Murphy said. 

Mike Murphy, SAFECOM Member at Large, displays the new SAFECOM outreach banner at the NACo 2016 Annual Conference.

Mike Murphy, SAFECOM Member at Large, displays the new SAFECOM outreach banner at the NACo 2016 Annual Conference.

The Committee’s decision to send local representatives to engage with stakeholders also proved to be a success.  Murphy added that “Being a SAFECOM representative from a small, local, police department was a real advantage in engaging the attendees in the booth.  I was able to discuss on a first hand basis a lot of the questions and issues from the vast majority of attendees who were from smaller counties across the country.”

Both SAFECOM and OEC look forward to continuing their joint outreach activities in the coming months.