National Publications Spotlight Articles on ITSM and NICS by Expert SEARCH Staff
Current issues of two national publications feature articles written by SEARCH staff—one that provides expert advice for public safety practitioners, and one that offers insight into a critical national issue.The October 2013 issue of MissionCritical Communications features a “Spectrum Monitor” column written by Ms. Bonnie Maney, an Information Sharing Specialist and Public Safety Training Manager for SEARCH.
The column addresses Information Technology Service Management (ITSM), a process and strategy to manage new and existing technology in public safety agencies, such as land-mobile radio and broadband equipment.
Ms. Maney explains that implementing an ITSM policy can increase service quality, reliability and operational efficiency. The magazine is available in digital format; the column is on pages 8 and 10.The September 2013 issue of JRSA Forum features an explanatory article, “NICS: Challenges to Mental Health Record Sharing and Recent Congressional Activity,” written by SEARCH Government Affairs Director Kelly Harbitter.
In this piece, Ms. Harbitter examines the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the point-of-sale system used to conduct background checks of prospective firearms purchasers. In particular, she discusses the challenges the states and federal government face in increasing the number of mental health records available to NICS (in part because one of the disqualifying categories for firearms purchases is involuntary commitment to a mental health institution or an adjudication related to mental defect).
She also discusses what the states are doing to address mental health records reporting to NICS, and congressional and administrative efforts to improve mental health record sharing and fund NICS enhancements.
Ms. Kelly J. Harbitter is Director of Government Affairs for SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. She leads SEARCH’s liaison efforts to the Congress and the Administration on issues that impact the states and the justice community, including information sharing, public safety and homeland security.
Ms. Harbitter was Programs and Policy Advisor for SEARCH from 2011 to January 2013, advising the Executive Director on corporate policy, programs and strategic direction, and providing liaison to federal, state and local agencies, peer organizations and Congress. She was also responsible for partnership development and SEARCH Membership Group support. From 2003–2010, Ms. Harbitter served as Deputy Executive Director of SEARCH, overseeing the development, implementation and management of all SEARCH programs and related projects. SEARCH programs focus on information sharing technology and its successful application to justice, homeland security and public safety decisionmaking. These programs focus on four specific areas: law and policy issues associated with information and identification technologies; planning for and implementing information-sharing technology; public safety information sharing and interoperable communications technologies; and high-technology crime investigation. Under her leadership, SEARCH staff provided a broad array of activities, resources and products to local, regional, tribal and state justice and public safety agencies nationwide. This assistance included technical assistance, consulting and facilitation, training, strategic planning, architecture development, business process analysis, technology standards application, resource development (publications, Web sites, model development), national-scope policy research, and national workshops, symposia and conferences. Ms. Harbitter oversaw programs funded by grants, cooperative agreements and contracts from the U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS), and from state and local agencies.
Ms. Harbitter has developed, organized and presented at numerous national conferences, meetings and symposia on justice information sharing policy and technology, and workshops on justice, homeland security and public safety information sharing issues that have trained thousands of practitioners and state and local policymakers. She has written numerous articles, technical bulletins and reports on justice system automation and integration for SEARCH and for publication by the U.S. DOJ. She is co-author of the Law Enforcement Tech Guide: How to plan, purchase and manage technology (successfully!) and Law Enforcement Tech Guide for Information Technology Security: How to Assess Risk and Establish Effective Policies. Ms. Harbitter has presented a series of national technical assistance workshops and conferences on Law Enforcement Technology Planning and Implementation to COPS grantees. She has also provided onsite technical assistance on issues relating to justice and public safety information sharing, interoperability and integration.
Ms. Harbitter is a member of the Criminal Justice Information System Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative Security Working Group. She joined SEARCH in 1991. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and in Communications.×
Ms. Bonnie Maney is the Public Safety Training Manager / Information Sharing Specialist for SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. As Public Safety Training Manager, she is responsible for managing project staff, preparing and developing public safety training initiatives, and managing program budgets. She also coordinates grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts with funding agencies that can include local, state, and federal agencies; oversees program deliverables; and provides technical assistance to local, county, and state justice, public safety, and non-justice agencies in these areas of information technology: governance, planning, development, improvement, acquisition, integration, and interoperability. As an Information Sharing Specialist, she helps justice and public safety agencies nationwide improve their use of technology and information sharing in mission-critical projects and initiatives. She assists in all facets of information sharing capability development and voice and data interoperability, including strategic and tactical planning, architecture development, business process modeling and analysis, service specification development, voice and data integration planning, and performance management. She also contributes to publications on key issues and participates in efforts to develop and adopt national information sharing and interoperability standards.
Ms. Maney joined SEARCH in 2010 following a 19½-year career in public safety emergency communications, most recently as Telecommunications Manager for the Town of Palm Beach (Florida) and its consolidated police/fire/emergency medical services (EMS) communications center. In that position, she was involved in strategic technology plan development; budget and project lifecycle management; computer-aided dispatch (CAD), radio, 9-1-1, and other communications technology; participation in policy-level stakeholder, workgroup, and user committees; analysis of user needs and requirements; and developing and administering training for operational and emergency management telecommunications and public safety personnel. She managed communication center renovations, CAD/RMS/Radio and 9-1-1 upgrades, and other projects that enable communications interoperability and information sharing.
Before that, Ms. Maney served for 10 years as Dispatch Operations Shift Supervisor for the City of West Palm Beach, where she oversaw critical service, personnel, and equipment decisions, and performed duties of all Emergency Communications Operator positions, including call handling, police/fire/EMS dispatch, and teletype operator. She also served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 8 years, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.
Since 2008, Ms. Maney has developed and instructed courses for the Emergency Management/Public Safety Telecommunicator degree program at Jacksonville State University (Alabama). She also has developed and instructs courses for the emergency management associate degree program at Palm Beach State College (Florida) for 5 years, and also instructed in its Dispatcher Academy program. In 2012, she helped develop and present a series of online courses for the Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications (DHS OEC) on public safety communications and project management. She has also written issue briefs and best practices guides and tools on public safety broadband, Incident Command System communications unit, interagency communications, and lifecycle management topics.
Ms. Maney earned a master’s of science degree in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northwood University (Florida), where she graduated summa cum laude. She also has more than 2,000 hours of advanced training in communications, leadership, project management, equipment, and information sharing, including incident command and management systems, disaster management, and trunked and conventional radio systems, and held certification as a State of Florida 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher.
She is the SEARCH representative to the SAFECOM Emergency Response Council (ERC) and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC).×