By Melissa Follstad
As a key element of our public safety operations supporting major urban areas in California, Haystax provides security monitoring at large special events across the state.
Most recently, our California Common Operating Picture for Threat Awareness, also known as Cal COP, has been used in support of:
- Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
- Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade
- Long Beach Pride Parade
- California Democratic Party Endorsing Convention in Los Angeles-Long Beach
- National Basketball Association playoffs and finals
- San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration
- Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco
- San Francisco Fleet Week
A project of the Coalition of California UASIs (CCU), Cal COP helps protect more than 85 percent of the population across the state and provides the ability for Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) regions within California to share information statewide. Cal COP combines data on over 45,000 protected CIKR assets with approximately 1,200 real-time information feeds, providing unparalleled situational awareness. This dynamic information sharing capability via the cloud allows public safety officials across the state to monitor incidents and natural hazards, and respond appropriately.
Major-event security is one of Haystax’s specialties. From the Oscars and the Super Bowl to papal visits and national political conventions, Haystax has provided security monitoring for some of the most high-profile events of our time.
During most special events, the Haystax system will be live 24/7 in the command post, serving as the central source of information on event hosting facilities as well as nearby critical infrastructure. Multiple threat and vulnerability assessments are conducted on the most critical facilities in advance, and many agencies have a dedicated analyst who regularly updates facility data in the Haystax platform for continuous broad-area situational awareness. Commanders also use our blue-force tracking capabilities for an instant snapshot of their field-team locations.
Outside the command post, deployed teams and patrols rely heavily on Haystax mobile apps for reporting incidents and suspicious activities, updating the locations of VIPs on the move or simply checking in with periodic informational or location reports. In addition to selectable dropdown menus augmented with user-generated text, the mobile apps also provide a means of submitting geo-tagged photos and videos plus document files.
Event personnel analyze the fused data, putting real-time intelligence on emerging threats in broader context and prioritizing the information against existing data based on tailored keyword configurations and other risk-analytics techniques. Results can be routed to multiple special-use channels that are unique to specific commanders or intelligence analysts or other operational users. Robust access controls ensure sensitive data is protected — while users are presented with only the information relevant to their particular task or area of operations, so they can focus on their most critical mission requirements during the event. Finally, all data in the Haystax system can be filtered, sorted and searched, and users can generate detailed reports for use in post-event reviews.
As one senior intelligence official involved in Super Bowl 50 put it: “Maintaining a common operating picture among all public safety agencies during the days leading up to Super Bowl 50 was absolutely necessary for effective information sharing.” The Haystax system “gave our public safety officials the information they needed to quickly and effectively coordinate on emergency response to potential threats and hazards.”
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Melissa Follstad is a project manager and analyst at Haystax.
Note: Learn all about our Haystax for Event Security solution, and discover why we were the security monitoring solution of choice for eight of the last 11 Super Bowls, by clicking here.