The Erie County Department of Central Police Services, in conjunction with the Department of Emergency Services, has announced the receipt of an award of $967,981 from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for funding from the Public Safety Answering Point Consolidation, Improvements and Enhancements Grant. This grant will be used primarily to implement the Phase III portion of the E-911 Improvement project, improving communications interoperability between services and municipalities.
“This grant will provide a huge boost to emergency communications capabilities in Erie County and will strengthen all agencies’ ability to respond to events in a timely and effective manner,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Clear and timely communications are essential at all times, but particularly in times of crisis. With this grant Erie County will take a big step forward in establishing those communications.”
Erie County’s current 911 system consists of older, outdated equipment that is difficult to replace and cannot handle the types and amounts of information necessary in 21st-century emergency communications. Upon completion, Phase III of the E-911 Improvement project will create for the first time ever in Erie County a modern communications hub, usable by law enforcement, fire and emergency services, and medical personnel from any municipality. Communications compatibility between municipalities will also be greatly enhanced. Furthermore, in addition to the 911 hub downtown, the funding will allow for a remote backup location essential for continuity of operations.
“Upon completion of this project, Erie County will be able to provide state-of-the-art emergency communications to all of our first responders. We will have laid the groundwork that will allow us to utilize new technologies such as texting to 911, once those capabilities are developed by the various providers,” said Commissioner of Central Police Services John Glascott. “It is a challenge trying to keep up with ever-evolving technology, and this grant will allow us to stay current and provide the citizens of Erie County with the best service possible.”
Emergency Services Commissioner Daniel Neaverth said, “Timely, accurate information is critical during emergencies. This state-of-the-art enhancement puts all public safety answering points on the same page countywide and allows a seamless transfer of data when seconds count. The grant awarded is a great example of what can be accomplished when departments and agencies collaborate for a common goal.”
“Working together with local government and police officials, we were successful at gaining these very competitive grant funds for 911 system upgrades,” said Erie County Legislator Lynn M. Marinelli (D-Buffalo, Tonawanda). “On behalf of the 3rd district, which includes the Village of Kenmore, I am thrilled with this outcome!”
Public Safety Committee Chairperson Legislator Timothy R. Hogues (D-Buffalo) said, “I am pleased to see that this modern technology will be extended to first responders throughout Erie County. Collaboration between them and their governmental partners made these advancements possible.”
“I’ve been a strong advocate for the completion of this project, especially for smaller communities with high call like the Village of Depew. I look forward to its implementation and all that it will do to help different towns and villages throughout the county and especially in the Village of Depew,” Legislator Terrence D. McCracken (D-Lancaster, Depew, South Cheektowaga, Alden) said.
The Erie County Legislature must approve a resolution allowing the grant to be used for the E-911 Improvement Project.
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Central Police Services, visit: http://www2.erie.gov/cps/
On the Erie County Department of Emergency Services, visit: http://www.erie.gov/depts/community/emergency_fsd.asp