For police, first responder communications network is much needed good news

Thomas Manger, chief of police in Montgomery County, Maryland, and the current president of the Major City Chiefs Association | The Hill 

This week, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, comprised of the sheriffs and police chiefs of the 69 largest law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada, met to share best practices. For many police chiefs, this has been a difficult and, in some cases, a heartbreaking time. Spending time with trusted colleagues is needed.

From the intense wildfire season out West, through a string of destructive hurricanes and devastating events in Las Vegas, public safety has been taxed and tested. We applaud the courage and dedication of those who responded to those events and mourn for the officers and other victims, lost and injured. During hard stretches like these and other crisis situations, our first responders rise to the occasion with one goal in mind: to save lives and protect our communities.

FirstNet-AT&T public safety broadband network reaches 20 state opt-ins

Alex Murtha | Homeland Security News 

Since its rollout in early July, a total of 20 U.S. states and territories have decided to opt-in to the AT&T-First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) nationwide public safety broadband network.

The interoperable communications system allows emergency response personnel to securely and independently communicate with one another across AT&T’s existing long-term evolution (LTE) network.

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FirstNet Momentum: 20 States and Territories to Transform First Responder Communications With FirstNet

AT&T Press Release

More than a third of the country has moved to modernize communications for the fire, police, emergency medical services (EMS) and other public safety personnel who bravely protect and serve their communities.

Twenty states and territories have announced their decision to opt-in to the FirstNet network – America’s only communications platform purpose-built for public safety:

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And then there were 20: With Nebraska, FirstNet ‘opt-in’ decisions top 35% threshold for states and territories

Donny Jackson | Urgent Communications

Nebraska has accepted the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T on behalf of his state, making it the 18th U.S. state—not including two territories—to “opt-in” to the FirstNet system. With 20 of the 56 U.S. states and territories having made “opt-in” decisions, FirstNet has received “opt-in” notification from 35.7% of all governors.

A step forward for Virginia’s emergency response

Richard R. Bowers Jr. | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia made history in July as we became the first state in the nation to join a new emergency wireless broadband system called FirstNet that will connect first responders. This is the start of a transformational change in the way our public safety workers will communicate during emergencies.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to “opt in” to FirstNet was strongly supported by public safety departments across the commonwealth. As a result, Virginia’s emergency responders will for the first time have instant and coordinated wireless emergency communication. This technology will help protect the lives of emergency responders and the Virginians they serve.

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Virginia to Transform Communications for Public Safety; Governor McAuliffe Approves Buildout Plan for First Responder Network

AT&T Newsroom

Virginia is making history. Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a letter accepting the FirstNet and AT&T* plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the Commonwealth’s public safety community. This will make Virginia the first state in the country to “opt-in” to FirstNet and bring advanced technologies that will help first responders save lives and protect communities.

Following today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe will hold a ceremonial letter signing tomorrow at FirstNet Headquarters, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive Reston, Va., 20192 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

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