FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OPCD Takes Precautionary Steps to Protect Network
Amid Louisiana Cyber Attack State of Emergency Declaration
NEW ORLEANS, LA (July 26, 2019) – In response to Governor John Bel Edwards emergency declaration, the Orleans Parish Communication District announces that it has seen no apparent effects of a cyber-attack or any degradation in services on the networks it maintains following notification from the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).
“When GOHSEP informed us of the wave of cyber-attacks in Louisiana, OPCD immediately began taking protective measures to ensure the integrity of 9-1-1 and 3-1-1 services,” stated OPCD Executive Director, Tyrell Morris. “9-1-1 and 3-1-1 services are secure and strong. The citizens of New Orleans can rest assured that we will remain available and able to continue providing emergency and non-emergency support, should the need arise.”
On Thursday, July 24, 2019, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a state-wide Emergency Declaration in response to an ongoing cybersecurity incident that is affecting several local government agencies. The declaration makes available state resources and allows for assistance from cybersecurity experts from the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana State Police, the Office of Technology Services and others to assist local governments in responding to and preventing future data loss.
“Our suggestions to the citizens of New Orleans is the same as we are giving to the staff at OPCD,” Morris stated. “Be aware of this threat, and in doing so, do not open emails from strangers, download attachments you are not expecting or click on links that you are not 100% certain of their destination or intent. Incidents like this simply prove that government entities must have the needed resources to protect our infrastructure and constantly remain innovative and vigilant to ensure continuity of services”.
About Orleans Parish Communications District (www.911nola.org)
Formed in 1982, the Orleans Parish Communication District is the public safety answering point (PSAP) for all emergency communications via 9-1-1 and non-emergency city services via 3-1-1 within Orleans Parish. The agency employs over 140 individuals and provides emergency medical dispatch, emergency fire dispatch, and emergency police dispatch for the millions of annual visitors and residents of the City of New Orleans. OPCD is a member of the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).
Marcus W. Creel, MS
OPCD Public Engagement Manager