During a 2014 study on public safety communication, the state noticed a few deficiencies.
“Those deficiencies were shown of being the 800-plus radio systems, despaired radio systems owned and controlled either through the state, county, local or volunteer agencies across the state and those type systems in a legacy environment prevent us from having true interoperability,” Director of Upper Missouri River Regional Dispatch Center Derrick Walker said.
With the new radio communication system, SIRN 20/20, all first responders will have the ability to communicate with each other under one streamline– something that couldn’t be done before.
“This eliminates jurisdiction boundaries for communications and also county, and will also eliminate state boundaries for first responders so that when we have large mutual aid events whether they’re in-state responders coming to each other’s assistance or out of state responders we’ll have that radio network,” Walker said.
The $207 million project will be paid for by the state, and both Williston and Williams County law enforcement agencies will be the first to use it.
“Going to a one-state system, having those talk groups on their should make it a lot more seamless than it is right now,” Williams County Sheriff Verlan Kvande said.
“A lot of work went into it at the legislative standpoint and at budgeting from the state level and a lot of work went in it from our city commission so we’re very thankful to our community,” Williston Chief of Police David Peterson said.
Walker told KX News SIRN 20/20 should be ready by the end of December.
“And as it’s built out our coverage and ability to communicate will grow with it,” Walker said.
Walker says the consolidated communication line will allow for faster communication, and when it comes to saving lives, saving seconds could be all the difference.