The New Zealand Police (NZP) employs more than 10,000 staff around the country and has three Command and Control communication centers nationwide, located in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, which provide dispatch control services to the New Zealand Police and New Zealand Fire for frontline officers.
NZP desired a number of new capabilities, such as the ability to bridge the interoperability gaps between the different communications systems used at NZ Police (legacy analog and P25 digital) with systems from other Public Safety agencies and other devices that were going to become a part of the NZP's mobile technology strategy.
The NZP wanted greater flexibility and reliability with their dispatch system and sought to virtualize their environment, how and where they operate. They wanted to remove the communication barriers and improve the flow of communications to those who needed it.
NZP had identified Internet Protocol (IP) would have the potential to enable communications across multiple radio systems and consoles. The IP Interoperability & Collaboration System (IPICS) from Cisco also incorporates a policy engine to create standard operating procedures which can then be activated and tracked at the touch of a button for more effective incident responses.
IPICS was rolled out in 2010 by Tait, with local Cisco-approved integrator, Cistech, and met all of the NZP's requirements for delivery of their radio communications. The IPICS infrastructure was installed in parallel with the existing RCT system, and tested/configured prior to desk-by-desk migration of users to the IPICS Dispatch Client.
The NZP now have Cisco IPICS operating in their three national Command and Control communications centers – Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. This is complemented by the Intergraph Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system which the NZP will continue to use. The CAD solution, which Intergraph supports in the communications center environments, includes job management, detailed data entry, resource/staff management and situational awareness as well as integrating with database search and other information access tools.
The NZP Cisco IPICS radio dispatch solution is intuitive, future-proofed and based on IP open-standards for ease of use and interoperability.
The IPICS solution provides the NZP with a virtualized work environment that delivers system efficiency with flexible traffic management. The ability for any NZP communications center to handle any traffic provides excellent system redundancy, as proven during events such as the Christchurch, New Zealand, earthquakes when the southern communications center was impacted with emergency calls. A highly available system ensures that if a center is compromised, the other centers can assist for a critical, seamless, user experience.
IPICS increases worker safety with instant recall recorder that allows users to easily replay recent voice messages without having to pull files from the network recording solution.
The NZP Cisco IPICS solution has the ability to grow with the NZP's changing needs, including the ability to bring multiple media streams together over an IP network. Communicating between LMR radios and remote smartphones through secure connections to the IP network will be possible via a downloadable CISCO IPICS app with a secure connection for their jurisdiction. Communications remain secure with the Tait P25 trunked digital network and secure NZP IP-based radio dispatch consoles. The ability to send mixed media between dispatchers and first responders will ensure streamlined operations, informed reactions and improved response times.
Based on the success that the NZP have had with Cisco IPICS, Tait (as an Authorized Cisco Reseller) has also supplied the IPICS dispatch console system to Ambulance New Zealand and will connect IPICS to the radio network for St John in 2014.