APCO Launches Application Community (“AppComm”) Web Site

APCO International launched the Application Community – “AppComm” – a new web site dedicated to public safety and emergency response apps for use by the general public, app developers, and first responders. 

AppComm is the single, trusted online forum where public safety professionals, the general public, and app developers can rate and comment on apps, submit ideas for new apps to serve public safety needs, and suggest additional apps for inclusion on the site. AppComm provides clickable links to download the apps from external developer web sites and app stores. 

As the world’s largest organization of public safety communications professionals, APCO is lending its considerable collective expertise and reputation to create AppComm because it recognizes the importance of providing a platform that the public safety community can trust and rely upon to aggregate and develop the most effective apps for public safety and emergency response.

The launch includes an initial listing of 60 apps selected by APCO staff that are intended to be representative of the value and diversity of existing public safety apps. APCO is not currently endorsing or vetting any apps listed on AppComm, but does encourage visitors to evaluate the apps by using the rating and commenting features. AppComm users, particularly first responders and APCO members, will provide critical insights to identify the best apps and facilitate practitioner-driven innovation. 

"APCO members are especially qualified to evaluate existing apps and drive development of new apps that most effectively aid public safety and emergency response," said APCO President Terry Hall. "I encourage APCO members and other public safety professionals to actively use AppComm, because they will be the best asset in making this a success and attracting innovation in public safety communications technology."

At the same time, as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards development organization (SDO), APCO is in a unique position to develop the standards necessary to govern these new tools. As a first step, on March 4, 2013, APCO filed a Project Initiation Notification to develop a standard for apps that would be integrated with 9-1-1 call centers, public safety communication centers, and public safety agencies. APCO will continue to lead the way in fostering the development of appropriate standards and criteria for public safety apps.

“With its unique expertise in public safety communications, APCO is determined to play a major leadership role in supporting the development of a diverse, practitioner-driven public safety app ecosystem fostered through the collaborative efforts of public safety professionals and app developers,” said APCO 1st Vice President Gigi Smith. “APCO designed AppComm to facilitate this collaboration by serving as the single, trusted site to review, comment, and rate public safety apps, as well as the best forum to submit ideas for new ones. These features in turn will support our standards development efforts and allow us to foster innovation driven by public safety’s needs.”

John Wright, APCO’s 2nd Vice President, added “the main value of AppComm will come from the active participation of APCO members and other public safety professionals who can best assess the value and effectiveness of apps with an understanding of the mission to preserve the safety of life and property. We also invite the technology community – ranging from the world's largest technology companies to the dorm room, classroom, or garage – to use AppComm as a tool, and work with APCO and other major stakeholders including FirstNet, to focus on creating a new wave of app innovation for public safety and emergency response.”

"This is a perfect way for APCO to build upon the success we achieved with the D Block legislation," said Immediate Past President Gregg Riddle. "The new law's provisions on the FirstNet nationwide public safety broadband network and Next Generation 9-1-1 services are triggering a new wave of advanced public safety communication technology.  In this regard, APCO is continuing its leadership role by creating AppComm to foster app development."

Visit www.appcomm.org to view the site or email appcomm@apcointl.org with questions.