Mississippi Launches Linux-Based Safety System

Mississippi is giving Linux, DB2 and Tarantella a try in a mobile public safety organization project.

The state of Mississippi has launched a Linux-based, mobile public safety system that links police, fire and emergency services to a single DB2 database.

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced the successful initial deployment of the public safety system, Mississippi ASP (Automated System Project)—a mobile data infrastructure thats based on IBM eServer hardware and IBM DB2 and Novell SUSE Linux software—at a press conference at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The Mississippi ASPs initial deployment links three Mississippi counties law enforcement, fire department and emergency medical services to a DB2 database. When complete, the project will provide mobile units with real-time access to all available public safety information, including mug shots, arrest warrants, criminal intelligence, hazardous materials data and medical emergency protocols.

Cochran said this will enhance their ability to protect the public, particularly young people who might be at risk in todays more dangerous and fast-paced world.

"It is critical that all of our first responders have instant access to the critical information that can save lives, speed arrests and ensure public safety," Maj. Julian Allen, director of the ASP, said in a prepared statement. "IBM and Tarantella [which provides the remote access software] have delivered a secure and robust server/software solution that provides this secure remote access capability without any single point of failure."

Each centralized data center network will consist of one IBM eServer iSeries 825 and two eServer xSeries 445 systems running Tarantella Inc.s Secure Global Desktop Enterprise Edition remote access software, Novell Inc.s SUSE Linux and IBM DB2. This data center will be linked to an identical data center at separate location to provide redundancy and guarantee that there is no single point of failure. As the ASP system expands, these networks will be linked together to join multiple jurisdictions into a single centralized information source.

It is the hope of Cochran that this pilot project will become a national model for linking emergency response organizations together.

The ASP system is being rolled out in three phases. The first phase, which was completed in February, provided a single point of access to the existing jail management system of three county jails. The second phase, initiated in June, allows integrated records management and computer-aided dispatch for fire and law enforcement. The third and final phase of the project, which is expected to be deployed in October, will implement the mobile data infrastructure—connecting laptops in all police, fire and emergency vehicles to multiple databases.

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