31 Aug Funds will support public safety communications interoperabilty
Eagle River, Wis. – The North Eastern Wisconsin Public Safety Communications (NEWCOM) group has been awarded a $418,800 Federal Homeland Security grant to help public safety agencies communicate with one another, according to Gov. Jim Doyle.
The funds will be used to implement a regional public safety mobile radio plan for the 16-county group, and purchase equipment that will enable the region’s law enforcement and fire agencies to communicate with one another when responding to an incident.
NEWCOM is headed by the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department and includes Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Portage, Price, Shawano, Taylor, Vilas, Waupaca and Wood counties.
Wisconsin’s Office of Justice Assistance (OJA) has asked all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties to identify their radio interoperability needs. OJA contracted with Federal Engineering to conduct a statewide interoperability assessment. The issue of interoperability was brought to the forefront after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. Reports showed many of the emergency first responders were unable to communicate with each other because their radios were not interoperable.