PSAC Association Profile: Major County Sheriffs of America

September 21, 2017

This is the latest in a series of blogs highlighting FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). The PSAC consists of members representing associations and agencies from all disciplines of public safety, as well as state, territorial, tribal, and local governments, and provides guidance and recommendations to FirstNet in carrying out its duties and responsibilities. Its input is invaluable to the development of the FirstNet network.

As law enforcement agencies eagerly await the deployment of the FirstNet network, the Major County Sheriffs of America (MSCA) continues to champion the needs of public safety from the Nation’s largest counties and parishes. MCSA is the voice of elected sheriffs from counties or parishes with a population of 500,000 or more – representing over 100 million Americans. Sheriffs’ offices are often the sole law enforcement agency in rural areas without local police departments, operate jails and prisons, provide court services, and execute warrants. MCSA seeks to unite sheriffs’ offices and their unique challenges through the principals of serving with speed and accuracy, communication, education, advocacy and research.  

Captain Mel Maier, of the Oakland County, Michigan Sheriff’s Office, represents MCSA on the PSAC. Captain Maier serves as the Commander of the Emergency Communications & Operations Division, where he oversees radio and 9-1-1 emergency communications within the Sheriff’s Operations Center, manages the Warrants Unit in researching and entering criminal warrants, and is the Sheriff’s communications representative within the Oakland County Homeland Security and Emergency Operations Center.   He also serves as the chair of the Radio Oversight Committee for the Countywide Public Safety Radio System (OakWIN).  He began his career in law enforcement more than 25 years ago with the Garden City, Michigan Police Department.  

Captain Maier is also the law enforcement representative on the PSAC’s Executive Committee. Both his emergency communications and law enforcement operational expertise have been invaluable to the PSAC and FirstNet. In participating on the PSAC’s most recent “Preparing for Adoption” Task Team, for example, Captain Maier contributed to the creation of a readiness checklist for public safety agencies. His support for the FirstNet network and the capabilities it will bring to sheriffs’ offices have made him a tremendous advocate for FirstNet.   

On FirstNet’s impact on the future of law enforcement and emergency communications, Captain Maier thinks "FirstNet will not only improve public safety communications and data access, but drive innovations in situational awareness technology.  This will provide a safer working environment for first responders and allow us to be a more effective force in serving the public." 

Most recently, MCSA met in Reno, Nevada, June 22-23, 2017.  MCSA’s next meeting is its biennial training conference, September 19-22, 2017 in Mackinac Island, Michigan.  FirstNet is grateful for a partnership with the MCSA and Captain Maier, and is delighted to be bringing technologies law enforcement deserves to major counties and parishes soon. 

 

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