Brian Heaton


Brian Heaton was a writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines from 2011 to mid-2015.

June 5, 2015

Charlotte, N.C., Launches Revamped Public Safety Communications Network

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Fire Department and other responders now have access to 4G wireless speed in the field.

May 18, 2015

New York City Fights Fire with Data

Analytics help New York City firefighters track potential hot spots.

January 16, 2015

Is Live-Streamed Video Really That Valuable to Cops?

While many law enforcement officials are dabbling with real-time video feeds during investigations, experts believe still images are more effective for decision-making.

November 20, 2014

Internet of Things Helps Cities with Snow Removal

Boston, Minneapolis and Buffalo are some of the municipalities harnessing the power of GPS sensors and machine-to-machine communication to modernize snow removal practices.

November 14, 2014

Law Enforcement Social Media Use Up, But Policies Lacking

Study reports lack of formal training to take advantage of social media as a tool for crime investigation, prevention and anticipation.

November 5, 2014

Sterilization Tech Helps Fight Ebola

A Tracy, Calif.-based company’s portable sterilizers are a hit with hospitals and governments dealing with and preparing for Ebola outbreaks.

October 23, 2014

Fusion Centers: Have They Found Their Sweet Spot?

Increased state investment in fusion centers may suggest a change of opinion on the information-gathering groups.

October 9, 2014

Can We Talk: Creating a Common Language for Cybersecurity

Experts are hopeful that a new NIST framework will give agencies a method to evaluate the security of their computing environments against their peers.

October 3, 2014

Will Improved Transparency Facilitate Text-to-911 in California?

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 1211, which requires the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to develop a timeline for a statewide next-generation 911 emergency communications system.

August 22, 2014

DHS Cybersecurity Program Finds Few Takers

Program to share threat information was opened to state and local government last year, but few seem to be aware of it.

March 26, 2014

Connecticut Local Governments Seek Regional 911 Authority

New legislation would allow three Connecticut towns to consolidate their 911 dispatch centers.

February 25, 2014

Is the FCC Moving Too Fast on Wireless 911 Location Accuracy?

The wireless industry is bristling over the commission’s proposed rulemaking on indoor horizontal and vertical wireless 911 location results.

February 20, 2014

Kentucky Cellphone Users May See Rise in 911 Service Fees

New legislation would raise the monthly emergency 911 services fee on cellphone bills from 70 cents to $1.

February 12, 2014

911 Call Centers Consider Impact of FCC Texting Proposal

The FCC wants all text message providers to support emergency texts to 911 by the end of the year. But call center managers have concerns.

February 3, 2014

What It’s Like to Run a One-Person Department

Most rural emergency managers lack resources and staff but still must prepare for the worst.

January 8, 2014

Mississippi County Upgrading Emergency Communications

Neshoba County, Miss., will open a state-of-the-art EOC this spring, featuring a next-generation 911 system.

December 10, 2013

911 Location Accuracy Group Calls Out Wireless Industry

The Find Me 911 Coalition is pushing the FCC to craft stricter regulations to better pinpoint the location of emergency calls made from mobile devices.

December 4, 2013

FirstNet Issues RFI on Mobile Apps

The authority in charge of the nationwide public safety network is seeking information on apps, cloud and identity management technology.

November 20, 2013

Mobile App Tracks Emergency Volunteers

Deploy Pro will help incident commanders manage personnel and information during emergencies.

November 8, 2013

Are Emergency Management Graduates Finding Jobs?

Signs point to academic expertise having a more significant impact in the emergency management workplace moving forward.

October 2, 2013

FirstNet Is Finishing Up an Active First Year

From planning activities to grant funding, the wheels are moving to provide emergency responders with a high-speed, nationwide public safety network in the near future.

September 25, 2013

Traffic Signal Tech Improves Rescue Response Time

Palm Beach County, Fla., is installing an emergency vehicle priority system that adjusts traffic signal times to help improve traffic flow for fire and rescue teams.

September 23, 2013

New Jersey's Cyber Fusion Cell Collaborates on Cyberthreats

The Cyber Fusion Cell improves the state's ability to share information on cyberthreats by collaborating with public- and private-sector entities.

September 6, 2013

The U.S. Is Still Vulnerable to Chemical Threats

The Boston Marathon bombings were a chilling reminder that terrorist attacks don’t need to be big to wreak havoc on a population.

August 20, 2013

Promising New Tech Could Boost Communications in Emergencies

Serval Mesh and BRCK are part of the next generation of technologies that could make communication during disasters easier.

August 19, 2013

California County Goes High-Tech to Improve Communications

Software-based system gives San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s officers the ability to use smartphones to communicate with dispatch.

August 12, 2013

Bio-Threat Early Warning System Gets Booster Shot

The North Carolina Bio-Preparedness Collaborative is receiving an additional $3 million in federal funding to expand its health epidemic forecasting technology.

July 23, 2013

How Emergency Managers Can Benefit from Big Data

Large volumes of data sets derived from sophisticated sensors and social media feeds are increasingly being used by government agencies.

July 10, 2013

Will the U.S. Embrace Earthquake Early Warning Systems?

California's considering a bill to create a statewide system to alert people when earthquakes are coming. Scientists say the East Coast has just as much to gain from it as the Golden State.

July 2, 2013

CERT App Will Help Coordinate Volunteer Responders

The CERTify mobile app will enable Community Emergency Response Team coordinators to organize and manage the activities and data of volunteer emergency responders.

May 21, 2013

Emergency Managers Prepare for a Changing Disaster Paradigm

Are plans based on historical data out of date? Emergency managers and scientists discuss the impact of irregular storms and other natural phenomena.

April 30, 2013

Sirens Remain Vital to Hawaii’s Emergency Alert System

Hawaii is retrofitting its entire emergency siren network, moving to satellite and cellular control technology.

April 1, 2013

FirstNet Moves Forward, But Hurdles Remain

The national public safety broadband network should let federal, state and local emergency response personnel share data, do their jobs more efficiently and save more lives in the process.

February 28, 2013

What Does Your Lawyer Want You to Know About Social Media?

Online tools have made interacting with the public more convenient, but the legal pitfalls associated with social media have also been exposed.

February 13, 2013

Will FirstNet Move Forward with Local Broadband Projects?

Seven regional wireless networks could soon serve as models for a nationwide public safety broadband communications system.

January 29, 2013

Virginia Releases Emergency Preparation Smartphone App

Ready Virginia application from the state's Department of Emergency Management should enable citizens to better prepare for the unexpected.

January 15, 2013

Steve Fletcher Is Leading NTIA’s Office of Public Safety Communications

The office will assist FirstNet — which is charged with rolling out the National Public Safety Broadband Network — with procurement and other activities.

December 21, 2012

Video Chats Improving Police Response in Silicon Valley

California's Redwood City Police Department is connecting better with residents through the use of live video and text chats.

December 12, 2012

Aerial Drone Aids in Chemical Train Derailment Response

Birds-eye technology kept emergency personnel out of harm’s way while delivering photos of accident scene.

December 5, 2012

Upgrades to Storm Data Application Successful Post-Sandy

Norfolk, Va.'s Web-based application made incident reporting more efficient and cut down the time it took to compile an assessment report in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

November 20, 2012

Mississippi Cops Share Data to Fight Crime

Police officers in Harrison County, Miss., use mobile tools to make routine traffic stops safer and more efficient.

November 5, 2012

Behavioral Data and the Future of Predictive Policing

In the future, behavioral data and clues from virtual interactions may help cops stop bad guys before they've even drawn up a plan.

October 2, 2012

Littleton, Colo., Offers Mobile Alert System for Citizens

Residents can now subscribe to a mobile app that notifies them of emergencies in their local areas.

September 21, 2012

Digital Maps Assist Emergency Responders

Map application works on mobile devices without a network connection, helping responders in areas of Frederick County, Va., without cellular service.

September 20, 2012

Web App Collects and Maps Storm Data

Norfolk, Va., is using a Web-based system to modernize data collection of storm-related incidents and damages.

August 27, 2012

Tracking Tool Monitors Colorado Lightning Strikes

Web-based technology is helping Boulder County, Colo., identify when and where lightning is hitting for more accurate emergency response.

August 6, 2012

Web Tool Ignites Wildfire Preparedness Efforts

A new Web application developed by Code for America is helping residents of Austin, Texas, better protect their homes from wildfires.

July 19, 2012

Flood Early Warning System Keeps Austin, Texas, Prepared

Technology incorporates multiple data sources and predictive modeling to help keep residents safe from floods in Austin, Texas.

July 2, 2012

July 4 Festivities in Colorado Will Be Watched Closely

Police departments across the nation are stepping up enforcement efforts on July 4 by using social media and video cameras.

June 21, 2012

Defibrillators in Nevada Tracked in Web-Based Registry

Online database highlights the location and status of life-saving equipment throughout the Silver State.

April 3, 2012

Crime Analysis Tech Aiding Local Cops in California

The Rialto Police Department in California uses a sophisticated software program that gives officers a heads up on crime trends in the city.

March 30, 2012

Heart Attack Treatment in St. Louis Speeds Up With Wi-Fi

Remote transmission of electrocardiograms from ambulances gives patients a fighting chance to live.