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5 California Municipalities Move to Networked Next-Gen 9-1-1 System

Date: 2016-03-19
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A joint city networking project — made possible through an intergovernmental agency agreement — will be a vast step toward modernizing a largely unchanged emergency system.

From a story by Eyragon Eidam in Government Technology

In the foothills of north-central California, a cluster of municipalities is connecting through a networked 9-1-1 system that will eventually allow them to accept streaming video, text messages and, of course, voice communications.

Through an intergovernmental agency agreement (IAA) the cities of Auburn, Lincoln, Rocklin, and Roseville will be linked with Placer County in a next-generation 9-1-1 system.

Sandra Bumpus, division commander for the Support Services Division of the Rocklin Police Department, said the joint city networking project will ultimately be a vast step toward modernizing a largely unchanged emergency system. While she said the project will bring much needed changes to the legacy systems sprinkled throughout the region, she noted that the upgrade is more akin to bringing the system in line with modern needs than it is making it “cutting edge.”

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One of the first challenges Bumpus experienced was lining up the confluence of agreements and funding timelines of each agency involved in the project.Not only was approval from California Office of Emergency Services required, Bumpus noted, but each of the stakeholders also had to identify system requirements and wait for their funding cycles to line up before moving forward.

“Once we all got on the same funding cycle and identified what we needed, what we were looking for and how we were going to make it happen, we created what’s called an intergovernmental agency agreement that speaks specifically not only to the phone system, but in the future any technology that could possibly benefit public safety in the region and could be shared,” she said.

All of law enforcement, especially in California, is moving to a next-generation 9-1-1 system that is capable of receiving streaming video and OnStar, digital communications and texts to 9-1-1, Bumpus added. And, unlike some states on the East Coast, the size of California makes coordinating 9-1-1 systems like this one difficult.

“California, being one of the largest states in the union, has not been able to go there," she said. "However, we’re on the verge of the state being able to push through some of these next-generation features."

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Though the modernization effort will mean considerable upfront costs associated with equipment implementation and potential infrastructure build-out, Bumpus said the new system could lead to cost savings in the long run. The state, she added, has awarded $1.76 million for the project.

READ entire story in Government Technology here 

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via Government Technology, 2/1/16)

 

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