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$1.5 million awarded to local public safety agencies for interoperable communications

The Office of Justice Assistance (OJA) announced $1.5 million in awards to local public safety agencies as part of an ongoing statewide strategy to improve interoperable communications among Wisconsinís public safety and emergency response agencies.

Nineteen awardees in twelve counties will use $1.5 million of federal Homeland Security funding to purchase new radios or upgrade existing radios that will be used on the statewide interoperable communication system (WISCOM).

ďThese grants reflect Governor Walkerís commitment to public safety, and needed improvements in interoperable communications that will be implemented with the launch of the statewide WISCOM system.Ē said John Murray, OJA Executive Director.

These radio grants are the second installment of a $4 million program to expand emergency responder access to the statewide WISCOM system. Earlier this month Governor Walker announced $2.5 million in grants to thirty awardees in fourteen counties. This $4 million dollar investment will help to bring thousands of new radios onto WISCOM, the statewide interoperable communication system. 

WISCOM is expected to be ready for mission critical operations by later this spring.  Demand for using the system has already been brisk; nearly 230 agencies have registered close to 4,600 radios on the system.

WISCOM dramatically increases communications capacity for public safety and emergency responders, and allows responders from any area of the state to assist another community without losing communication capabilities. The statewide system is designed to operate with existing radio systems, and is flexible and open enough to work with the many different local and regional systems currently operating in the state.

Providing reliable and responsive interoperable communications has been a central goal of the Governorís Wisconsin Homeland Security Council, and has been a part of Wisconsinís comprehensive strategic homeland security planning efforts.

Funding Announcements

Homeland Security: PSAP Radio Supporting MABAS 2010
Funds are available to local, tribal and state government agencies to purchase equipment to improve the interoperability of public safety answering point (PSAP) dispatch centers. Applications must be received through Egrants on or before July 24, 2012.

Criminal Justice: JAG Problem-Solving Court Coord 2010
Funds are available to the Director of State Courts Office for hiring a full-time statewide Problem-Solving Court Coordinator. Applications must be received through Egrants on or before July 25, 2012.

Homeland Security DATCP Planning (2011)
Funds are available to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection for food and agricultural security. An application must be received through Egrants on or before July 31, 2012.

Homeland Security WIJIS Justice Gateway Local Implementation 2010
Funds are available to all Wisconsin law enforcement agencies for the implementation of the WIJIS Justice Gateway. An application must be received through Egrants on or before August 15, 2012.

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