APCO International is YOUR industry-recognized resource for information on public safety communications!
We develop standards, effective practices and disseminate information about critical issues such as wireless 9-1-1, staffing & retention and the impact of emerging technologies. We participate in numerous committees, partnerships and government initiatives.
APCO supports agencies around the country grappling with the industry's toughest issues by delivering a variety of resources and engaging in the latest research to find common solutions.
APCO offers a wide array of resources including:
Subject Matter Expertise and Public Safety Communications Issues Assistance
- Wireless (E9-1-1) deployment and management
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- PSAP Service Capabilities
- Next Generation 9-1-1 and Emerging Technologies
- PSAP management, training, operational procedures & best practices
- Voice and data exchange/interoperability
- Staffing and retention in public safety communications centers
- Industry trends and research
- Automated secure alarm protocol (ASAP)
As an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited Standards Developer (ASD), APCO International is dedicated to ensuring public safety communications has a role in the development of standards that affect our industry. APCO’s standards development activities have a broad scope, ranging from the actual development of standards to the representation of public safety communications in other standards development areas.
The ProcessThe process begins with a proposal for a new standard. This proposal is presented to APCO’s Standards Development Committee (SDC) for consideration. If approved, a project initiation form is completed and submitted to ANSI. At this point, a workgroup is identified to research and write the content of the standard. Once written, the candidate standard is reviewed by the SDC and moves forward to public review and comment. During this phase, anyone with an interest is encouraged to submit comments on the proposed standard. All comments will be considered and a response generated. Upon completion, a consensus vote by the SDC is conducted and the candidate standard is submitted to ANSI for approval as a standard. APCO represents its members and public safety communications on the following ANSI Standards Panels: Homeland Security Standards Panel (HSSP), Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), and Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP).
APCO is dedicated to enhancing the industry, safeguarding citizens and improving communications during emergency events. Several projects focus on 9-1-1 and Communication Center issues, including Unified CAD Functional Requirements Project – a partnership between APCO and the IJIS Institute focused on the creation of a new CAD functional specification document that includes CAD functions for EMS, fire and law enforcement.
APCO offers free public safety service announcements, accuracy testing, performance testing guides, deployment and management toolkits, Project LOCATE reports and more.
The APCO Project 33 Agency Training Program Certification is a formal mechanism for public safety agencies to certify their training programs as meeting APCO American National Standards (ANS). Centers apply for certification and submit their curriculum, training materials and supporting documentation for compliance review.
The result of nationwide research, the APCO Project RETAINS Toolkit and Effective Practices Guide assists communications center managers, HR personnel, police and fire chiefs, and others in addressing the challenges of hiring and retaining qualified personnel for the vitally important position that is the person behind the number 9-1-1.
Public Safety Communications Representation
APCO takes an active role in numerous programs and partnerships with other industry organizations.