The state has awarded a contract for an advanced radio system for safety agencies, following work by the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) to advance the effort.

On May 12, 2014, the California Department of Technology (CalTech) awarded a Non-Mandatory Master Agreement (MA) for a P25 public safety radio infrastructure/subscriber communications equipment solution for use by California state agencies and participating local agencies to Motorola Solutions.

CalTech, CDCR and the Office of Emergency Services Public Safety Communications have been working collaboratively to develop and award this contract.

Project 25 (P25) is a suite of standards for digital radio communications for use by federal, state/province and local public safety agencies in North America to enable them to communicate with other agencies and mutual aid response teams in emergencies.

Tammy Irwin, CDCR Unified Communications Manager assigned to this effort, said: “This effort is an excellent example of how multiple agencies can come together and create synergy – the partnering and collaboration amongst the working teams was exemplary.”

Although the Request for Proposal was initially started by CDCR and the requirements were created using technical specifications centric to their needs, it was realized the contract would accommodate the needs of many other state agencies.  Therefore, a decision was made to expand the availability of the contract statewide.

CDCR has an immediate need for a centralized P25 public safety radio infrastructure/subscriber communication equipment solution serving its 34 Adult Institutions and intends to do so with a phased roll out approach.

The first three institutions to be addressed will be R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, Mule Creek State Prison, and California Men’s Colony.

Joe Panora, CDCR’s IT Director, said: “This new contract allows CDCR, a state public safety first responder agency, the ability to deploy a state of the art trunked radio communication network that will not only enhance public safety with much needed interoperability, but will also set new standards for radio communications in the state.”

The new systems will allow for interconnectivity between CDCR’s institutions as well as external jurisdictions, roaming subscriber units, management terminal equipment to inhibit lost or stolen radios, and dispatch priority through a wire-line dispatch position.