CEO Blog

CEO Blog


18th April 2019

It’s a month since my last blog post but it seems much longer than that.  This is a busy time of the year for BAPCO, due mainly to our Annual Conference & Exhibition, the BAPCO show.  I hope many of you took the opportunity to visit the event this year, to look at the technology on display and to talk to the exhibitors.  I’m proud that our event is one of the few where many of our exhibitors have actual products to show and concepts to discuss with conference delegates.  Sure, they’d like to make a sale but they are also there for your thoughts and your feedback.

I have the formal feedback meetings this week but initial figures are we had 2,500 visitors to the event this year.  That’s 700 up on last year.  Our partnership with TCCA to welcome Critical Communications Europe (CCE) to BAPCO 2019 worked well.  Instead of two BAPCO conference streams, we ran one, with another hosted by TCCA where they chose the content.  The two associations worked very closely to ensure the event felt like one conference to delegates, speakers and exhibitors alike.

The Technology Showcase theatre returned with a wide range of presentations and updates which were all well attended.  This year we also provided a Drone Zone with an associated area for presentations.  This is a feature we’ve been planning to include for some time and to see it so popular was extremely satisfying and exciting.  I’m sure we’ll see it back, bigger and better next year.

Feedback on the event has all been very positive.  There are always areas we can improve but it’s great to be working on these, rather than to be fixing things that have gone wrong. Several times I’ve been told it feels like BAPCO is back.

Soon after BAPCO 2019 we had one of our quarterly Board Meetings.  This was followed the next day by a meeting of the Executive Committee.  I’ve been working with colleagues from the Board and the Executive Committee on a new three year strategic plan for the association.  Following the agreement of the plan, the Executive Committee debated the proposed Implementation Strategy and agreed who would take on which tasks and who would lead the four areas of work.  I’ll be meeting with each of the leads over the next few weeks to discuss the work required and how they’ll be tackling it.  More details of the Strategic Plan, the Implementation Strategy and the leads will be published soon.  If you’d like to know more, please get in touch, this is your association.  

Both our Board and our Executive Committee are comprised of volunteers.  They do what they do for BAPCO in addition to their day jobs, with the support of the employers and own organisations. Nobody can stay with us forever and the time has come for some members to take their leave of BAPCO.

Rick Abbotts has been a long time member and supporter of BACPO, first  during his career with West Midlands Police and then as an independent consultant working chiefly with Highways England.  Rick is a strong supporter of the users’ points of view, as well as the wider Public Safety community outside the traditional four blue lights.  Rick retired at the end of March and left the Executive Committee.  In recognition of his service and commitment to Public Safety communications and technology, Rick was awarded Life Membership of BAPCO at the dinner at BAPCO 2019.  This is the highest accolade the association awards.  There have only been fifteen other recipients in the history of BAPCO.  Rick joins an elite and unique community.  He will be missed.

As well as Rick’s leaving, Lynne McCartney of Police Scotland has announced she will retire from the service in November.  This means there are two vacancies on the BAPCO Executive Committee for representatives of the User community. Look out for more information coming soon on how you could be a part of these exciting times for the association.  

Our Board of Directors consists of our President and two Vice Presidents.  Each was initially appointed for a period of two years, though this was increased to three years to assist with continuity and planning.  Vice President Andy Rooke’s current term of office comes to an end in November.  Under the rules of BAPCO, Andy is entitled to stand again but anybody else who would like to be considered for the role can apply.  Contact me if you’d like to know more.

Our next event is in London on June 11th where we will consider the topic of Next Generation 999 (NG999).  The service as provided does what it should but is in need of redevelopment to allow it to interact and connect with the huge number of information and communication sources now in existence.  Speakers include Darryl Keen, Chief Officer of Hertfordshire FRS and Chair of the UK’s 999 Liaison Committee.  Darryl will talk about the user perspective and what is needed from the development of the 999 service.  We will also have speakers from BT and from others with an interest in an enhanced 999 service.  Places are limited for this event as we want it to be interactive.  Register now to ensure you can be there. 

We will once again be holding a Satellite Series Autumn Event in Newcastle on the 13th & 14th November.  Whilst we have some common themes, I’d like to hear from you about what you want to see, to hear from and what you want to learn about.  Email me with your ideas and for consideration in the upcoming Call for Papers.

Thank you for your support.