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SEARCH Staff Bonnie Maney to serve on FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee

Bonnie Maney

Bonnie Maney

SEARCH Chairman Francis X. Aumand III has named Information Sharing Specialist Bonnie Maney to serve as SEARCH’s representative to the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). 

The Committee is comprised of 40 representatives of national organizations that are key leaders on public safety communications and interoperability issues. They will provide input and expertise to the FirstNet Board in support of its critical mission: to build, deploy, and operate a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network. (See sidebar.)

PSAC stakeholders come from public safety, emergency management, transportation, telecommunications, homeland security, government, and justice organizations at the national, state, territorial and tribal levels—and also include members of SAFECOM, another public safety advisory body. (See sidebar.)

FirstNet announced the structure and membership of the PSAC on February 20, 2013. Chief Harlin McEwen, Chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Communications Committee, will serve as PSAC Chair.

Ms. Maney has worked for SEARCH since 2010 and is knowledgeable about issues facing emergency communications and interoperability. In her role with SEARCH, 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, business process modeling and analysis, voice and data integration planning, and performance management.

For nearly 20 years, Ms. Maney worked 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 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. Among her accomplishments was to manage communication center renovations, CAD/RMS/Radio and 9-1-1 upgrades, and other projects that enable communications interoperability and information sharing.

Ms. Maney also develops and instructs courses for the Emergency Management/Public Safety Telecommunicator degree program at Jacksonville State University (Alabama), and for the emergency management certificate program at Palm Beach State College (Florida).

In 2012, she helped develop and present a series of online courses for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications 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.

What is FirstNet?

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is an independent authority within the National Telecommunications & Information Authority (NTIA).

FirstNet is the governing framework overseeing the deployment and operation of a much-needed nationwide interoperable broadband network that will help public safety professionals (including police, firefighters, and emergency medical services) stay safe and do their jobs.

According to NTIA, FirstNet holds the spectrum license for the network and is charged with taking “all actions necessary” to build, deploy, and operate the network, in consultation with Federal, State, tribal and local public safety entities, and other key stakeholders.

FirstNet’s PSAC leverages the membership of the SAFECOM Executive Committee and Emergency Response Council (EC/ERC)— groups that are primarily composed of State and local emergency responders and intergovernmental and national public safety communications associations. A majority of PSAC members, including SEARCH, also serve on one of the SAFECOM bodies.

SAFECOM is a program of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) and Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC). It addresses interoperability and emergency communications issues, and the SAFECOM EC/ERC provide input on the challenges, needs, and best practices of emergency responders. SAFECOM’s mission is broader in scope than that of FirstNet’s PSAC, which is focused on the nationwide public safety broadband network.

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