Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sheriffs Seek Support for Radio Proposal

Two North Dakota County Sheriff's shared their first-hand experiences of why the current 9-1-1 Radio system is not working. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier told House and Finance Tax Committee members how an officer can see another officer in a car but couldn't talk to them on the radio. Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser asked committee members to all ask the chairman a question at the same time, illustrating the communications challenges for officers responding to the Morton County protest. In situations where communications is critical, the current system has failed law enforcement and first responders.

The new radio system would allow all users - law enforcement, fire, ambulance to be on the same system and be able to communicate with each other. The new system will also improve coverage. The current radio system is set to go end of life in 2018. North Dakota is an island in our region because other states have moved onto the new system.

HB 1178 seeks to raise the 9-1-1 fee to $2.00 statewide. $.50 of that fee will be dedicated toward implementing a much needed statewide interoperable radio network.

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