An example of a KYWINS Messenger screen.
The Kentucky State Police (KSP) recently received an international award for the Kentucky Wireless Interoperability Network System (KyWINS) Messenger, a statewide instant messaging system for use by all emergency responders in Kentucky. The award was accepted by Major Brad Bates, KSP chief information officer, at the 114th International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.
The award was presented by the IACP and iXP Corporation through their joint IACP-iXP Excellence in Technology Award Program. The program was created to recognize law enforcement agencies for superior achievement and innovation in the field of information technology. The award program is international in scope and is open to local, tribal, state, provincial, federal and multi-jurisdictional law enforcement agencies.
The KyWINS Messenger system was created by KSP with coordination and support from the Commonwealth Office of Technology, Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and the Center for Rural Development. Utilizing Jive Software’s Openfire open source product, which was modified to meet the system specifications, KyWINS Messenger provides one unifying and central communication tool across several areas and disciplines in the commonwealth where uninteroperable mobile message switching applications are being used.
By using an Internet connection or the statewide 800 MHz wireless data communications infrastructure, immediate text communication is available to authorized users, regardless of location. The system not only provides mobile-to-mobile communications but also allows personnel at dispatch centers across the commonwealth to quickly communicate with each other in the event of an emergency. These quick avenues of communication help avoid radio traffic congestion through both one-to-one and one-to-many communication, with the later being based on the system's group conferencing feature. In addition, KyWINS Messenger can broadcast an immediate message to all online users in order to spread important information rapidly and requires little technological knowledge to use. In order to ensure complete security and confidentiality, all system messaging traffic is encrypted.
In addition to being able to handle up to 30,000 users, one of the most impressive things about KyWINS Messenger is the fact that the system was implemented for approximately $75,000 with an annual maintenance and support cost of only $4,000. The KSP and its partners absorb all system-related expenses and offer KyWINS at no cost for all first responders in Kentucky.
The Excellence in Technology Award Program highlights noteworthy IT initiatives from law enforcement practitioners and provides an explanation of how the technology helped agency management make more informed decisions. It also describes how the information is shared with other federal, state and local users. The awards provide a connection to these practitioners as well as a reference point for those considering similar projects in their own jurisdictions.
For additional information about the award, visit the IACP Technology Clearing House Web site.