TAMPA, Fla.--InterAct Public Safety Systems introduced during the National Emergency Number Association trade show and conference its Public Safety Portal, which enables public-safety agencies using incompatible systems to access and view each other’s data by converting the data to the Global Justice XML Data Model developed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"This product brings everybody together using a common language," said Chip Hughes, director of InterAct’s Homeland Security Institute.

The platform also converts radio frequency signals transmitted from an officer’s in-vehicle laptop to Internet Protocol format, to achieve interoperability between public-safety agencies using disparate systems. Data can be transmitted using a simple wireless air card—which enables transmission of still photos—or via an 802.11 wireless broadband connection, which enables the transmission of streaming video.

"These local data bases are a wealth of knowledge, but it isn’t being shared," said Hughes, a former sergeant with the North Carolina Highway Patrol who co-developed the portal. "For example, during the D.C. sniper shootings, the Blue Caprice was stopped eight different times by eight different departments, and none of them knew about it."

While officer safety was a primary motivation in developing the portal, Hughes said the real benefit would be in keeping officers on the street for longer periods. "It does the public no good to have law enforcement sitting in an office generating reports when they can be generating those reports from the street and submitting them wirelessly," Hughes said. "We want them on the street practicing proactive law enforcement."