Public Safety Project Resources

Emergency communications professionals need easy access to useful tools and resources for public safety project management. For your convenience, we are providing some of these here, as a one-stop-shop of templates, tools, publications and other resources you can put to immediate use. Most of these resources are available on the SEARCH website—while some other resources we helped to develop are available on the Office of Emergency Communications’ website. 

Project Planning Resource Toolkit
Download this toolkit today—it offers easy-to-use templates for developing the following:

  • A public safety project decision-making structure
  • A public safety project charter
  • A public safety project communications plan
  • A public safety project risk management plan
  • A public safety project assessment and analysis checklist

The Issue Briefs series addresses best practices and key topical issues related to public safety communications interoperability. They are designed for practitioners with limited time and a need to know about the latest industry-based knowledge. Visit our Public Safety Issue Briefs page for more details and links.

In particular, our six latest Issue Briefs offer useful guidance to improve success for IT project management:

Check out our five Law Enforcement Tech Guides, which provide helpful and informative resources to law enforcement and public safety practitioners. Visit our Law Enforcement Tech Guide page for more details and links.

For public safety communications project planning and management in particular, these resources are useful:

We offer a series of 5 podcasts that address critical lessons learned and useful best practices from public safety emergency communication and broadband projects nationwide. These podcasts present numerous lessons and best practices, and are intended to educate and inform public safety practitioners about current issues in public safety project management, communications, and broadband technologies.

Visit our Podcasts page for more details and links on:

  • Long-Term Evolution 101
  • The ‘Accidental’ Project Manager
  • SOP Development for the Coordination of Interoperability Resources
  • An Introduction to the Incident Command System in the Communications Unit
  • Lifecycle Planning

We offer a series of podcasts that provide practical guidance for information sharing and communications interoperability projects. Visit our Podcasts page for more details and links.

In particular, these podcasts offer insights and guidance into communications project management:

Visit the OEC/ICTAP Public Safety Technical Assistance Tools website for additional resources.

Access the “Training” link on the website to download and view useful training sessions, including these delivered by SEARCH staff:

Access the “OEC Docs” link to download and use guides, tools, and templates developed by SEARCH. The main guide and six companion documents will help stakeholders at the local, regional and state levels set up and sustain Incident Command System (ICS) Communications Unit (COMU) Programs. Or, download these documents here:

Karen Lissy

Ms. Karen Lissy is a Justice Information Services Specialist for the Law and Policy Program of SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. In this position, she provides assistance to state and local justice and public safety agencies to collect, curate, and use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data and computerized criminal history record (CCH/CHRI) information for policy analysis and development.

She also guides justice and related organizations in how to craft and implement laws, policies, practices, and technology applications to effectively collect and use CCH and related justice/public safety data; address legal, policy, and regulatory issues associated with CCH data; better manage and operate criminal justice information and identification systems; and develop security and privacy policies that protect justice information sharing systems.

Ms. Lissy has nearly two decades of research and data analysis experience, having led projects and tasks in support of two agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice), as well as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and multiple foundations, including Ford, Annie E. Casey, and Hewlett. Prior to joining SEARCH in October 2020, Ms. Lissy served as a Social Science Researcher at RTI International, as a regional Crime Analyst for the Redmond (WA) Police Department, and as Director of a research program with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Beginning in 2012, Ms. Lissy’s work has focused on improving data in law enforcement to answer policy questions and improve community/police relations.

Ms. Lissy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Michael Mackay

Mr. Michael Mackay is an Information Sharing Developer for SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. As part of the Software and Data Engineering Program (SDEP) team, he plans, develops, implements, and deploys information sharing systems on behalf of SEARCH clients in local, state, tribal, and Federal government settings. He also provides programming, configuration, and testing assistance, and consults on implementation architecture and design with clients. 

Mr. Mackay supports justice, public safety, and homeland security information sharing nationwide through SDEP services that include software architecture and systems design, application development, deployment and support, data management services, and direct technical assistance and training. These services offer capabilities that include federated query, authentication access/control, subscription/notification, process/workflow automation, data analysis, and more. 

Prior to joining SEARCH in 2021, Mr. Mackay worked as a Software Engineering Intern for TDM Business Toole Suite, where he provided software development support using Java frameworks, implemented relational database models using MySQL, and designed GUI components using NetBeans. 

Mr. Mackay will work in an Agile development environment, a methodology that SEARCH embraces that focuses on incremental development and delivery, collaboration in a team approach, and rapid and flexible response to change throughout the development cycle. 

Mr. Mackay earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University, New York.