State Police planning major public radio upgrade

FRAMINGHAM – The Massachusetts State Police, working in cooperation with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Executive Office of Administration and Finance (ANF), is taking steps to replace the Commonwealth’s aging public safety radio system.

The statewide system provides mission critical radio communications for more than 2,000 state troopers across the Commonwealth, as well as for 245 other public safety and transportation agencies.

The system will also be used by the state’s 911 emergency call centers and will provide greatly enhanced interoperable communications for the first responder community.

“The state troopers and first responders that use this radio system need the most advanced and reliable communications available in order to respond to the hundreds of thousands of calls for service that we receive each year,” said Colonel Kerry Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police

“The legacy system we are presently using is nearing the end of its useful life, which is why we are taking proactive steps to replace it with one that will allow us to respond quickly and seamlessly to critical incidents and threats across the state.”

A competitive procurement process will focus on replacing the current analog radio network with a new digital system that will provide far more capacity and coverage across the state.

The Commonwealth expects to replace critical system components such as radio consoles at state police dispatch centers and portable radios for troopers in year one of the project.

“I appreciate Colonel Gilpin’s leadership on this important issue that is critical to public safety in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett.

“This is a significant investment that will dramatically improve system performance and deliver public safety benefits for years to come.”

Enhanced interoperability – that is, the ability for different agencies to communicate seamlessly via radio — is one of the most important capabilities for law enforcement and emergency personnel responding to criminal or terrorist critical incidents and natural disasters.

The overhaul will take approximately five years to complete and the cost will be determined through the competitive bidding process. The upgrade will be paid for through a combination of capital and State 911 trust funds.

The planning and investment for this new system, known as the Commonwealth Interoperable Radio System (CoMIRS) addresses the radio needs for state police and multiple partner agencies such as Barnstable County police and fire, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Mass DOT-Highway Division, Transit Police and state and county prisoner transportation teams.


The proposed design of this new system may also provide an opportunity for municipalities and regional entities with aging and non-supportable systems to join the statewide radio system.


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