New system enhances communications with partnering agencies, increases public safety
NASHVILLE- Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Colonel Tracy Trott on Wednesday announced the completion of a new statewide radio communications system that will enhance the safety of the public and state troopers and increase efficiency between public safety agencies.
The statewide radio system, engineered by Motorola Solutions and Buford Goff and Associates (BGA), was completed on time and within budget.
Replacing a system that was nearly 40 years old, the new interoperable radio system provides enhanced communications between state troopers and dispatchers as well as the THP and partnering public safety agencies.
“We are proud of the implementation of the radio system and the exceptional capabilities that it provides to help make Tennessee safer,” Commissioner Gibbons said. “The radio communications system has already proven to be an invaluable tool that enables law enforcement and public safety agencies to communicate in real time.”
At the request of Gov. Bill Haslam, the General Assembly appropriated a total of $120 million for the new radio system. The original partners with the THP for the new system were the Department of Correction and the Tennessee Valley Regional Communications System in the Chattanooga area. Other partners now include Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), Sullivan County, and the cities of Smyrna and Johnson City. The Department of Transportation (TDOT) has purchased the equipment and will soon join the system.
“During the horrific active shooter incident last July in Chattanooga, emergency officials from numerous public safety agencies responding to the various scenes were able to clearly and immediately communicate with one another,” Colonel Trott said. “This allowed the THP command staff to monitor the situation from Nashville and quickly deploy the necessary resources needed in Chattanooga. I believe the real time communication contributed to the swift response of first responders and possibly saved countless lives.”
Motorola Solutions and BGA worked diligently to meet the stringent requirements that were demanded of the system. Due to the careful planning and implementation of the project, Tennessee now has the most advanced radio communications system available that requires one push of a button.
“Tennessee Highway Patrol’s use of Motorola Solutions’ ASTRO 25 mission-critical communications across all eight districts means troopers throughout the state are now able to communicate clearly and effectively with other first responders in Tennessee and neighboring states,” said Marshall Wright, vice president of sales, Motorola Solutions. “Seamless, interoperable communications between agencies is helping improve safety and efficiency for first responders in large-scale events as well as daily emergencies in every corner of the state of Tennessee.”
In addition to the current partners, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security encourages other agencies or jurisdictions to become members of the statewide interoperable radio communications system to even further enhance public safety in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.